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Showing posts with the label Avery Island

Tabasco Sauce: Origins

Avery Island isn’t really an island, but the locals like to call it that.  It’s really the dry land on top of a salt dome, surrounded by marshland, so in a sense, the term island is accurate.  Staying high and dry on the Gulf Coast is something worth noting, so Avery Island might as well enjoy island status.  At 163 feet above sea level, it’s the highest point in the Gulf Coast area, though with all the flora in the marsh, one can easily fail to notice the rise in elevation. The salt trade has long been central to Avery Island.  The Chitimacha people first inhabited it.  They didn’t mine the salt, but they took advantage of the salt springs there, and would extract salt from the water.  They did a lucrative business, trading salt with other native American peoples as far away as what are now called Texas and Ohio.  As white settlers from France, Spain, and later the United States moved in, they pushed the Chitimacha out of their ancestral lands and focused more on growing a cash crop: