A trademarked name held by the McIlhenny family since the mid-1800s, describing a fiery sauce made from tabasco peppers (barrel-fermented for 3 years), vinegar and salt. The tabasco pepper is a very hot, small red chile that originated in the Mexican state of Tabasco. The word tabasco means "damp earth." Tabasco Sauce adds zest to numerous dishes as well as being integral to the famous cocktail. In addition to its original Tabasco Sauce, the McIlhenny Company now produces several Tabascobrand sauces including green pepper sauce, garlic pepper sauce and habanero pepper sauce.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.