TABASCO ®: An Illustrated History


The story of the McIlhenny family of Avery Island, Louisiana, and the world-renowned pepper sauce they created
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The story of the McIlhenny family of Avery Island, Louisiana, and the world-renowned pepper sauce they created
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Editorial Reviews

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Serious Tabasco fans are no doubt salivating over this hardcover story of Louisiana's McIlhenny family and their iconic hot stuff. Bernard, the official historian for Tabasco producer McIlhenny Co., peppers the volume with rarely seen photos, documents and lush illustrations right out of the company archives. Includes Tabasco recipes like Oyster Cocktail and Eisenhower's Barbecue Sauce.
New Orleans Times-Picayune
In the summer of 2005, McIlhenny historian and curator Bernard was working on the Tabasco Museum in New Orleans, a project shelved by Hurricane Katrina. This lavish, entrancing book resulted instead, tracing the fabled condiment's history, the family, marketing and more.
New York Post
It's easy to say this is a hot holiday book. The coffee-table tome includes history, ads and trivia -- a "Tabasco in Hollywood" section tells us the sauce appeared on film with Laurel & Hardy, Bugs Bunny, the Little Rascals and James Bond and even in "Apocalypse Now." Our fave picture is a 1954 poster in English and Hebrew boasting "The Only Pepper Sauce Under Rabbinical Supervision."
Lafayette (La.) Times of Acadiana
[Bernard is] quick to mention that the McIlhennys gave him "free reign" on the project and did not edit his work. . . . One of the great attributes of Bernard's book is that myths are dispelled. Even family renditions of how Tabasco came to be are noted as being false because of proof Bernard found in business documents.
Lafayette (La.) Sunday Advertiser
A gorgeous coffee table book on the history of Tabasco . . . . The book offers amazing historical photographs of not only Tabasco and Avery Island, but the McIlhennys' association with presidents and celebrities, other Louisiana sites such as New Orleans and New Iberia and historic items of the last two centuries. There are recipes from both the family cookbooks and famous people such as President Eisenhower and actress Betty Grable.
Chili Pepper Magazine
[C]hock-full of archival photos, family history and reverence for the people behind the iconic sauce. If you've ever dreamed of rifling through the dusty boxes in the McIlhenny attic, the author has done the work for you, making it possible to gaze upon the original hand-written recipe, the early diamond-label and even Tabasco account books from 1871. . . . Heat-loving cooks will enjoy the archival recipes dating back to the 1850s. . . . There's plenty of good reading here . . . we promise you'll be licking your lips throughout.
Library Journal

In this beautifully designed book, McIlhenny Company historian and curator Bernard chronicles the McIlhenny family of Avery Island, LA, and the origin of their ubiquitous pepper sauce. Originally intended as a companion book for the Tabasco Museum in New Orleans (a project temporarily shelved after Hurricane Katrina), this volume contains primary-source documents from the company's archives (both black-and-white and color photographs) and more than a dozen historical recipes from handwritten family cookbooks, along with updated versions. The text and accompanying illustrations are exquisitely laid out, and numerous detailed sidebars add a lot of flavor to an already colorful narrative. The historical photographs depict not only generations of the McIlhenny family but also Avery Island, New Orleans, and cultural artifacts. For additional insight into this hugely successful business and remarkable family, one might want to check out Jeffrey Rothfeder's McIlhenny's Gold: How a Louisiana Family Built the Tabasco Empire. Recommended for all libraries and specialized collections.
—Christine Holmes

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780979780806
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 9/10/2007
  • Pages: 242
  • Sales rank: 708,210
  • Product dimensions: 10.60 (w) x 12.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Shane K. Bernard is historian and curator for the McIlhenny Company and Avery Island, Inc. He is the author of Swamp Pop: Cajun and Creole Rhythm and Blues; The Cajuns: Americanization of a People; and Cajuns and Their Acadian Ancestors: A Young Reader's History (all from University Press of Mississippi).
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