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New Orleans, Louisiana, is famous for its French and Spanish Creole architecture, cuisine, jazz music, and Mardi Gras. About 140 miles from the state’s largest city is Avery Island, the birthplace and home of Tabasco.
Prior to making Tabasco sauce, Edmund McIlhenny received Capsicum frutescens pepper seeds from Mexico or Central America, which he planted on Avery Island. In 1868 he grew his first commercial pepper crop, and in 1869 he sent hundreds of bottles of Tabasco to grocers throughout the Gulf Coast. Now, the sauce is sold in more than 180 countries.