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11/27/13 - Avery Island and the Jungle Garden

Wednesday - 11/27/13

Happy Golden Birthday Katie!

Today we drove about 20 minutes to Avery Island, home of the world-famous Tabasco Pepper Sauce  When we got to Avery Island we had to pay a "toll" of $1.00 to cross a small bridge.
HighTech way of collecting tolls
Clothespin on a stick
Hey, whatever works!

As we walked into the factory they gave each person four small bottles of Tabasco as a souvenir.  We  saw a brief movie explaining the history of Tabasco and then walked thru a viewing gallery and watched the bottling process.   Edward McIlhenny founded the company shortly after the Civil War ended.  The McIlhenny family is still very involved in all areas of production.   At one time there were 700 acres of pepper plant on the property, now it's down to 30 acres.   Seeds from these plants are cultivated and shipped to South and Central America for growing.   The recipe hasn't changed much since the company was founded.

After the tour, we went into the gift shop where I bought an ornament.  With every purchase they ask if you want a FREE gallon of tabasco sauce.   Not ones to pass up such a deal we got TWO gallons of tabasco sauce.  The sauce is fine, they were giving it away because the sell-by date was coming up and can't be sold after it expires.   The shelf life is five years so I guess I better start developing a taste for Tabasco.

Down the road, about 1/2 mile, are the Jungle Gardens of Avery Island.   The three mile drive goes through many different areas.  There are marshes, lagoons, flower gardens, a bird sanctuary and even a giant Buddha.    We were able to get out of the car and walk along some of the trails.

 These oak trees are 
200-300 years old!  
Imagine the history they've seen.

The Buddha was a gift to E.A. McIlhenny in 1936.
It was created for the Shonfa Temple during the reign of
 Emperor Hui-Tsung 900 years ago.

Primordial Forest