Driving here feels a bit like entering Oz. After stopping and waiting for the gate to lift, you drive onto Avery Island – which isn’t really an island, rather a salt dome that extends 8 miles below the surface. The salt mined here goes into Tabasco sauce, as do locally grown peppers (you learn all this during the tour's wonderfully corny intro video).
The mixture ferments in oak barrels before it’s mixed with vinegar, strained and bottled. You’ll get a few tiny bottles of Tabasco, in several flavors, after the short walk around the factory. At the gift shop, try free samples of Tabasco-spiced chili, jalapeño ice cream and just about any Tabasco-imprinted item you can imagine. For what it's worth, while some Tabasco is made here, the vast majority of production happens overseas.