Prior to the Civil War, Edmund McIlhenny was a New Orleans banker. In the mid-1860s, he began making sauce with a particular type of chili pepper from his personal garden on Avery Island in Louisiana. He began bottling it and called it Tabasco. The rest, as they say, is history.
It is probably safe to presume that McIlhenny hoped people would splash it on certain foods and stir it into dishes, but he probably never dreamed consumers would find so many ways to use the fiery condiment.
If you are only using Tabasco on tacos, scrambled eggs and chili, you are really missing out. Learn some incredibly unique uses for the hot sauce, both edible and practical.
1. Make a Custom Condiment
Add Tabasco to mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup or any other condiment you enjoy for a one-of-a-kind sauce that gives a kick to burgers, fries, potato salad or anything else you might sink your teeth into. While there are several recipes for the condiment combos, you can definitely tailor them to your liking.
2. Deter Pests
Tabasco acts as a natural insecticide when rubbed or sprayed on plant leaves. (Be aware that it can be harmful to bees, so applying it after flowers have bloomed is best.) It can keep other critters away as well, such as rabbits in your garden, mice in your home and squirrels at the bird feeder. Don’t worry, it should not bother your feathered friends at all.
3. Whip Up Some Caliente Cocoa
Talk about hot cocoa! Most Mexican hot chocolate recipes call for a pinch of cayenne pepper, along with spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Swap the pepper for a splash of Tabasco and take the flavor profile up a notch.
4. Clear Your Sinuses
Stir 10 to 20 drops of Tabasco into a glass of tomato juice and drink up. Downing this mixture multiple times a day could help your stuffy nose, as the capsaicin in the sauce not only serves as a decongestant, but also thins out mucus.
5. Perk Up Your Popcorn
This ain’t your movie theater butter-style popcorn. Before you pour your freshly popped corn into a bowl, sprinkle some Tabasco sauce into the bag, close it and give it a good shake. You might also want to grab a beverage before you sit down, because you’re going to need it.
6. Relieve Aches and Pains
A toothache in the middle of the night can be excruciating, especially when you don’t have any topical pain relief to help. Applying a bit of Tabasco with a cotton swab can help you get through until you can get to the dentist. Similarly, massaging a few drops into aching muscles can be seriously soothing (of course, be sure to avoid rubbing your eyes). Capsaicin, which occurs naturally in the peppers used to make Tabasco, is often used in over-the-counter pain creams because of its ability to reduce pain.
7. Make Pizza with Pep
Oh pizza, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways … and add one more, because a dash (or several) of Tabasco in the sauce results in a temptingly spicy slice of pie .
8. Stir Up Savory Oatmeal
While you might usually tuck into a bowl of this traditional warm breakfast cereal after adding sweet toppings like brown sugar and maple syrup, savory oatmeal can be equally tasty and satisfying. Make it a main course by adding Tabasco, cheese, meat and other hearty additions.