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Celebrate Louisiana & Cajuns with this jambalaya of entertaining and educational

Louisiana History

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William C. C. Claiborne William Charles Cole Claiborne was born in 1775 in Sussex County, Virginia and eventually bec...

William C. C. Claiborne

The Germans in Louisiana I wonder how many Louisiana natives and visitors have searched for the German Coast along the...

The Germans in Louisiana

Baroness Pontalba So many of us, beginning as young children, have walked through Jackson Square in the French ...

Baroness Pontalba

Nottoway Plantation Sitting only 200′ from the banks of the Mississippi River just north of White Castle, Louisian...

Nottoway Plantation

HUEY LONG (1893-1935) Huey Pierce Long was perhaps the most controversial and colorful state governor in US history. ...

HUEY LONG (1893-1935)

THE TABASCO STORY In 1841a fourth generation American of Scottish-Irish descent moved to New Orleans to begin a...

THE TABASCO STORY

Houmas Indian Tribe The year was 1686 when French explorer Robert LaSalle led his expedition down the Mississippi t...

Houmas Indian Tribe

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Claudia's Corn Soup

6 slices bacon 1 pound smoked sausage, diced ½ cup pickled pork or any ham seasoning 2 large white onions, finely chopped 3 stalks...

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Manale's BBQ Shrimp

One of our favorite recipes to prepare for friends and family is the barbecued shrimp recipe obtained by my mother (over 40 years...

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Oysters Mosca

Johnny Adapted from dish made famous by Manale’s and Mosca’s restaurants- of New Orleans 4 dozen oysters and liquid 1 large...

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Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Missy Replicated from Houston’s Restaurant’s (Metairie, LA) popular appetizer 2 sticks butter 1 medium white onion, finely...

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Marcia Ball

An energetic combination of blues and honky-tonk with a touch of boogie woogie best describes this Louisiana native who has been...

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New Orleans Street Cars

New Orleans became the second American city to have streetcars in 1835. The first city to introduce these horse-driven train cars...

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Atchafalaya Basin

The largest swamp wilderness in the United States; an area comprising nearly 600,000 acres encompasses most of Cajun Country in...

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Natchitoches Meat Pies

Natchitoches (Nack’-uh-tish) has long been revered as one of the most desired family destinations in Louisiana. It’s quaint...

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Oysters Mosca

Johnny Adapted from dish made famous by Manale’s and Mosca’s restaurants- of New Orleans 4 dozen oysters and liquid 1 large...

Image
Manale's BBQ Shrimp

One of our favorite recipes to prepare for friends and family is the barbecued shrimp recipe obtained by my mother (over 40 years...

Image
Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Missy Replicated from Houston’s Restaurant’s (Metairie, LA) popular appetizer 2 sticks butter 1 medium white onion, finely...

Image
Natchitoches Meat Pies

Natchitoches (Nack’-uh-tish) has long been revered as one of the most desired family destinations in Louisiana. It’s quaint...

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Gene Rizzo

Gene Rizzo, South LA native, architect, successful artist

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Cooking Louisiana

Cooking Louisiana. Excellent site for finding best dining in New Orleans area

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Louisiana Hot Stuff

Louisiana Hot Stuff. Unique Louisiana gifts in Lafayette, LA

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Louisiana Cookin'

Magazine covering authentic recipes, tasty travels and unique cultures of Louisiana.

In 1841a fourth generation American of Scottish-Irish descent moved to New Orleans to begin a career in Banking. His name was Edmund McIlhenny. There he worked his way from bookkeeper to bank ownership, purchasing five branch banks within 14 years.

In 1859, he married the daughter of a prominent Baton Rouge attorney by the name of Avery. Mary Avery and her family owned a sugar plantation on Petite Anse, a small land island near the Gulf of Mexico near southwest Louisiana.

When the Civil War began in 1861, Edmund and wife Mary along with her family fled to this small island for safety. However, the Union troops included Petite Anse in their raids; and so the McIlhenny and Avery’s traveled to Texas and remained there until the end of the war in 1864.

Upon returning to Petite Anse and discovering the ruins left by the invading troops, the families began the process of rebuilding the sugarcane business and reorganizing a salt mining operation which had began before the war. You see Petite Anse sits atop a huge salt dome just 16′ below layers of rich soil. Following the war, they renamed their home Avery Island.

Edmund left to seek employment in New Orleans following the end of the war; but dismal conditions of Louisiana’s financial industy made jobs scarce. The story passed on from the McIlhenny family was that Edmund had befriended a Mexican gentleman who at some point, presented him with a handful of pepper pods with instructions that the tasty peppers would improve the taste of his meals.

He eventually planted them in the gardens at Avery Island and in 1866 begin experimenting with producing a hot sauce from the peppers. He would crush the ripest of the peppers with rock salt from the mines, age the powder for 30 days, then add wine vinegar and store for an additional 30 days.

The result was so popular than he began producing a commercial crop in 1868. Two years later a patent was obtained; and the rest is history!

The family has continued their ownership and control of this world-famous sauce. You will find the sauce in the most remote areas throughout the world. Tabasco is now a staple with NASA; and can be found in the Skylab space station, thousands of miles above Avery Island.

The production operations are still located on Avery Island and the McIlhenny descendants have added an outstanding bird and wildlife sanctuary donated as a major tourist attraction to the State of Louisiana. More than 100,000 visitors tour the Bird Sanctuary, Visitor’s Center, and Country Store each year.

The seeds of the most select Tabasco peppers are actually kept in a bank vault in New Iberia as protection from possible hurricane loss.

One additional interesting note is that the peppers are still picked by hand and only the absolute perfectly ripe fruit is picked. Pickers actually carry a red stick, colored in the shade of the ideal pepper so as to insure consistent selection.

The McIlhenny Company has expanded their product line to include a variety of additional sauces. Wherever you live, walk into your favorite supermarket. I’ll bet you find the Tabasco products front and center on the shelves!

For more information, be sure to visit their website at: http://www.tabasco.com.

 

 

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Joie de vivre (joy of living) characterizes the Cajun way of life. Through their food, music, and festivals, every gathering of family and friends becomes a celebration of heritage.  The rich traditions are embraced by Cajuns and visitors alike.Lassez les bon temps roule' (let the good times roll)!

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