Tag Archives: American South

Tabasco Sauce: Taste An American Legend

I just love Tabasco Sauce, perhaps because it’s in my Southern genes…

After the Civil War, the crop harvests in my homeland of the American South were paltry. As a result, the people of the region had a bland and monotonous diet. To give the Southern table a little more flavor & spice, Edmund McIlhenny of New Iberia, Louisiana cooked up a hot sauce recipe from Capsicum frutescens peppers which was packaged in old cologne bottles made in a New Orleans glass factory.

Capsicum Frutescens: The Tabasco Sauce Pepper

The sauce was well-received by Southern cooks because it gave their tables more flavor & excitement.  Today, Tabasco is not only a staple in Southern meals, but is also seen on tables throughout the world.

Since the sauce’s beginnings, the McIlhenny family hand selects each year some of the finest peppers they grow for Tabasco sauce on Avery Island, Louisiana for their superior robustness, color and texture.  These special peppers are then put in white oak barrels, mixed together with a touch of Avery Island salt and aged for a few years.

Sometimes, a bit of this pepper mash is left to age a little longer and is then blended with premium white wine vinegar. When it’s just right, Tabasco strains and bottles it for McIlhenny family members and close family friends. Occasionally they make available a limited edition of this full-bodied sauce and specially package it for the public to taste.

The McIlhenny Tabasco Family Reserve sauce is about 5 times more expensive at $25 than the classic 5 oz. bottle with a price tag around $5. But I think it’s still a small price to pay for shaking on the McIlhenny family secret.

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The New Sound of the South

One of my favorite magazines, Garden & Gun, has published a playlist of The New Sound of the South.

Listening to this, y’all can easily understand why my homeland, the American South, is the birthplace of all great music including rock ‘n’ roll, blues, country, jazz, rhythm & blues and soul.

Looks like we’ve still got it!  Listen by clicking here.


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The Seersucker Suit

Seersucker Suit - Photo via Sleepy Neko

The seersucker suit is often worn by men in the American South during the summer months.  The suit is made from an all-cotton, woven fabric in which some threads are crimped together to give the striped fabric a half-wrinkled appearance that requires no ironing.  This wrinkling allows the fabric to be held away from the skin, making it well suited for hot and humid climates.

Seersucker - Photo via We Are The Market

Since its origins during the 19th century, seersucker was widely worn during the British colonial period as a cheap alternative to Indian silk. From the 1920-1940s, seersucker suits were donned by stylish undergraduates as a statement of reverse snobbery.  American writer Damon Runyon stated that wearing seersucker suits was “causing much confusion among my friends.  They cannot decide whether I am broke or just setting a new vogue.”

Through the years, seersucker has also been a popular material for warm weather and military environments.  During World War II, nurses and female Marine Corps’ summer uniforms were made of the lightweight fabric.

J. Press Seersuckers: A "Southland Favorite" - Photo via A Continuous Lean

Today, seersucker is worn by people all over the U.S. who want a comfortable, lightweight fabric for a smart summer look.  Even the United States Senate holds “Seersucker Thursday” in June, where the participants dress in their favorite clothes made of the light summer fabric.

Seersucker Thursday at the U.S. Senate - Photo via United States Library of Congress

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