Tabasco sauce is a table condiment made from red peppers, vinegar, water, and salt, and aged in white oak barrels. It is named after the Tabasco river and Tabasco State of Mexico but not the Tabasco pepper, which it does not contain. The original variety measures 2,500 to 5,000 su on the Scoville scale. There are now five popular varieties.

It has a hot, spicy flavor and is popular in many parts of the world: it is sold in more than 110 countries and packaged in 19 different languages. More than 150 million bottles are sold each year, half of those in the United States. These range in size from the common two-ounce and five-ounce bottles available in most grocery stores, up to a one-gallon jug for food service businesses, and down to a miniature bottle (which rural Louisianians often carry in their shirt pocket at lunch time, "just in case"). In Japan, Tabasco sauce is popular on pizza.

Tabasco has been produced by the McIllhenny Company of Avery Island, Louisiana, since 1868, holding the second-oldest U.S. food patent. Several new types of sauces are now produced under the name Tabasco Sauce, including green pepper, chipotle, Habanero, and garlic sauces. In addition, the company has cashed in their brand name by licensing the production of branded merchandise, including neckties, hand towels, golf shirts, posters and Bloody Mary mix. McIllhenny also publishes a periodic sales catalog of Tabasco products and promotional items.

The peppers used are a spicy cultivar of Capsicum frutescens and are grown on Avery Island. Another cultivar commonly called the "Tabasco pepper" is grown there as well, but not used in the production of the sauce.

External Links: