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How Is Tabasco Sauce Made?

How Things Work
How Things Work


How Is Tabasco Sauce Made?
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Print How Is Tabasco Sauce Made? Reading Comprehension


A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.95

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    flavoring, perfume-type, rouge, sprinkle-top, brine, vinegar, petit, commercial, fitted, bland, beginning, mechanical, vent, member, capped, demand
     content words:    Edmund McIlhenny, Avery Island, Mexican Indian


How Is Tabasco Sauce Made?
By Joyce Furstenau
  

1     Over 140 years ago a Louisiana man named Edmund McIlhenny was given some peppers as a gift. McIlhenny used the peppers to spice up some of the bland food being served at the time. He liked the flavor they added. He brought some of the pepper seeds back to his home on Avery Island, Louisiana, and planted them.
 
2     In 1868 he harvested his first commercial pepper crop. He ground the peppers with a little salt from his salt mine on Avery Island. He aged this paste in barrels for a month. Then he added vinegar to the paste to make a spicy sauce. The mixture was aged again, then strained and poured into small perfume-type bottles fitted with a sprinkler top. The sprinkle-top was important because his pepper sauce was strong, and only a small amount was needed. He called his sauce Tabasco. It is a Mexican Indian word that means "land where soil is humid."
 
3     Other people liked the flavor of his pepper sauce, too. People wanted to buy it. McIlhenny planted more peppers to keep up with the demand. He carefully picked the ripest peppers on the plant by hand. They had to be just the right size, shape, and color. He used a special stick called "le petit baton rouge" in French. He used the stick as a guide. When the color of the peppers matched the stick, they were ready to be picked. This was the beginning of the Tabasco sauce that is used today to season foods.

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable



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