“We’re absolutely delighted to know that Tabasco sauce has a place at Her Majesty’s table,” said Paul McIlhenny, President and CEO of McIlhenny Company, and fourth generation family member. “England has always been very loyal to us, consistently ranking among the top markets in international sales. This is indeed a proud moment in Tabasco history.”
Tabasco sauce and England have historically enjoyed a very strong relationship, since the iconic pepper sauce was first exported there in 1874. During World War II, the Queen Mother had her staff search London for Tabasco sauce, which was in short supply due to wartime constraints. As her deputy controller of supply wrote in his memoir, My Twenty Years in Buckingham Palace, “The Queen [Mother], when she was told that there was no more Tabasco sauce, took the news philosophically.”
Tabasco sauce was created in 1868 by Edmund McIlhenny on Avery Island, Louisiana, from a special variety of Capsicum pepper plants. Encouraged by local success, Edmund marketed his unique concoction to the world and the Tabasco sauce legacy was born.
The business flourished and remains in the hands of the McIlhenny family, who oversee every stage of production, from planting, harvesting, mashing, wine-like fermentation and aging in white oak barrels to final blending and bottling. And although production has increased enormously since 1868 – over 160 countries and territories now enjoy Tabasco sauce – the beloved recipe remains virtually the same as it was over 140 years ago.