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Tabasco Chile Pepper


Tabasco Chile Pepper Stats

Name: Tabasco
Pronunciation: tuh-bas-koh
Length: 1 ½ - 2"
Width: 2"
Scientific Name: Capsicum frutescens,
Other Names: tabasco pimienta, chile pepper
Scoville Range: 30,000 - 50,000

Tabasco Chile Pepper Origin and History

This chile is named after the state of Tabasco in the southeast region of Mexico where it was originally grown. In 1848 tabasco peppers were transferred to Louisiana and used to make the popular hot sauce. Most Tabasco pepper crop is grown in Central and South America and transferred to Louisiana to be manufactured.

To determine if they are ready to be picked a small red stick is placed against tabasco chiles to check for proper color. The weight and juiciness of the chile also determines if it is ripe. Tabasco chiles are harvested by hand and are difficult to pick.

In the 1960's tabasco peppers were infected by the tobacco mosaic virus, an infectious disease found in tobacco plants. In 1970 the Greenleaf Tabasco was introduced as the first resistant tabasco crop to be cultivated.


Tabasco Chile Pepper Description

A tabasco bush can grow up to 5 feet tall. The tapered chiles grow upward on their stems and have a smooth skin. The pepper starts as soft yellow to red and matures to yellow and orange until turning a bright red when it is fully ripe.

Tabasco is the only variety of chile pepper that is juicy, not dry, on the inside. It is a very pungent chile with a hot, sometimes bitter taste.


Tabasco Chile Pepper How to Serve or Use

Tabasco chile is the main ingredient in the hot sauce with the same name. The sauce is a condiment used to flavor fish, meat, eggs and other food. Tabasco sauce is often used to spice up Bloody Mary cocktails. Peppered vinegar can also be flavored with tabasco chile.

Tabasco peppers are found fresh and in a dried powder. Fresh peppers can be added to vinegar to make a spicy vinegar sauce. The chile is also pickled and made into hot pepper jelly.

Tabasco pepper sauce has been included with U.S. military Meals, Ready to Eat (MRE's) since the 1980's. It is also on the menu of the NASA space shuttle program, Skylab and the International Space Station.



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