tabasco sauce

Tabasco Sauce

Posted on January 11, 2015

Edmund McIlhenny receives a patent for his unique pepper sauce formula.

E.C. Hazard and Company, a grocery wholesaler, introduces the company’s pepper sauce to customers in the northeastern United States.

Late 1870s
McIlhenny begins selling his sauce throughout the United States and England.

The pepper used in Tabasco sauce is officially recognized by an American botanist and becomes classified as Capsicum frutescens var. tabasco.

Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Club produces Burlesque Opera of Tabasco. John Avery McIlhenny buys the rights to the production and stages it in New York City.

Lord Horatio Herbert Kitchener and his troops take Tabasco Sauce with them on their invasion of Khartoum, Sudan.

President John Avery McIlhenny signs an affidavit stating that McIlhenny Company is the exclusive lawful user of the Tabasco trademark and is entitled to registration of the mark under the 1905 Trademark Act.

The Louisiana Supreme Court rules against the McIlhenny Company and sets damages at $5,000 for denigrating a competitor’s right to use the word “Tabasco” in its name.

Pharmacologist Wilbur Scoville devises a test to rate the hotness of peppers. Bell peppers rate zero, Tabasco sauce rates between 9,000 to 12,000, and habanero peppers rate 200,000 to 300,000 units.

The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recognizes the company’s common law trademark on the word “Tabasco” when applied to a sauce made from chili peppers.

Encouraged by the 1918 ruling, the company sues Ed Bulliard of St. Martinville, Louisiana who was marketing a sauce made from Tabasco peppers under the name “Evangeline Tabasco Sauce.”

The federal court in western Louisiana denies damages, finding that Bulliard acted in the good faith belief that he had the right to use the word “Tabasco”. However, the judge bars Bulliard from using the word “Tabasco” in the future.

Fernand Petiot, an American bartender at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris gives birth to the Bloody Mary drink when he mixes equal parts tomato juice and vodka.

The British government bans the sale of Tabasco® sauce during the “Buy British” campaign. Members of Parliament protest leading to “The Tabasco Tempest.” Because of the outcry, Tabasco sauce is once again permitted to be sold.

Petiot moves to the King Cole Bar at the St.Regis in New York. His drink becomes popular with New Yorkers but something is missing. His patrons encourage him to make the drink spicy, so he adds cayenne pepper, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, lemon, and a big dash of Tabasco® sauce. The recipe is a hit.

The McIlhenny Company introduces Tabasco® Bloody Mary Mix.

George H.W. Bush hands out personalized bottles of Tabasco® sauce to members of his family at Arnaud’s Restaurant in New Orleans after receiving the Republican nomination for President.

President George Bush tells Time magazine: “I love hot sauce. I splash Tabasco all over.”

July 4, 1993
President Ned McIlhenny Simmons tells the New Orleans Times-Picayune that the company will not follow the ultra-hot sauce trend because “flavor is our contribution rather than heat.”

June 2, 1994
The company introduces an ultra-hot habanero sauce. Vice President Paul McIlhenny tells the Los Angeles Times that the sauce is separate from Tabasco sauce and that the company does “not plan a hotter version of Tabasco. We consider that sacrosanct.”

Late 1994
The McIlhenny Company introduces its green jalapeño sauce, registering only 600-1,200 Scoville heat units.

The McIlhenny Company introduces its garlic-flavored sauce, registering a mild 1,200-1,800 Scoville heat units.

Tabasco® Habanero Sauce is introduced, registering 7,000-8,000 Scoville heat units comparies to the 2,500-5,000 of traditional Tabasco Sauce.

An archaeological team from the University of Alabama excavates portions of the original Tabasco factory site on Avery Island, Louisiana. They unearth the earliest known bottles of Tabasco sauce.

Summer 2002
Archaeologists unearth a 130-year-old bottle of Tabasco® sauce at the site of an Old West saloon in the mining town of Virginia City, Nevada.

The company introduces a sauce made from smoked and dried chipotle peppers registering 1,500-2,500 SHU. The sauce, unlike Tabasco® sauce which is meant to be sprinkled lightly, is meant to be poured on food.

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