The world’s only Tabasco bottling plant is near Lafayette, Louisiana. How could we resist a free factory tour?
The pepper-scent of Tabasco greeted us as we drove into the parking lot. It wasn’t an eye-watering strong pepper smell, but mild and quite pleasant. It was noon when we got there and we were hungry so we shared a cup of beans and rice as well as a cup of a corn/crawfish over rice both seasoned perfectly, of course, with Tabasco sauce.
On this property is grown the pepper plants that produce the seeds that are sent to fields in other countries where the peppers are grown and picked and shipped back here where it is bottled and then sold in many different countries. This is the only Tabasco bottling plant in the world right here. 700,000 bottles every day.
The free tour included a small museum and then a 10-minute video about the history and the whole process of getting the hot sauce made. After the video we entered a hallway where we could watch through a glass wall to see the bottling process. The Tabasco Brand Green Sauce that was being processed today will be sent to Brazil.
The country store here sold all things Tabasco, you name it, they had it with a Tabasco logo. We were treated to free tastes of Tabasco flavored ice cream, and Tabasco flavored soda. Interesting, but not for me. There were also tastes of every variety of Tabasco sauce they make, some I’ve never seen before. They have a new Sweet & Spicy one that is delicious, and just this week they came out with a new Siracha sauce, delicious too. Watch for it. The tour guide gave us each a handful of mini-bottles of different flavors on our way out.
Next we went to downtown Lafayette to have a look around. After driving through the historic downtown we saw this old church. The Cathedral of Saint John The Evangelist, built in 1916 and is on the National Register of Historic Properties. We walked around the property and went inside. Beautiful.
And the cemetery behind the church.
On the church property is one of the largest Live Oak trees in the United States, estimated to be almost 500 years old. The trunk diameter is nine feet two inches and the circumference is twenty eight feet nine inches. What a beauty.
We have gone as far west as we are going to be for this winter. Our plan is to take the Natchez Trace Parkway north out of Natchez, Mississippi, 444 miles to it’s end at Nashville, Tennessee. After that we will go to the east coast and up to Washington, DC, hopefully in time for the Cherry Blossom Festival. After that we’ll go to Connecticut and New Hampshire before going to Minnesota.
Tonight we have landed at Natchez State Park, near the entrance to the Natchez Trace Parkway. We’ll be here a few days before we begin.
- Gasoline Expense: none
- Lodging Expense: $13
- Admission Fees: none