Friday, 19 April 2013

Q is for Queen’s hot favourite ...

... the Queen’s sauce – now that’s an interesting thought ... yet that bravura of exports is a favourite of the British Royal Family, so much so that it has been given a royal warrant by the Queen.

Tabasco - the Queen's hot favourite ... 

It’s an incongruous thought, a bottle of Tabasco on the sideboards at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Sandringham and Balmoral ... and now probably Highgrove et al ...

It is a definingly definite American sauce – but one that reaches the cockles of many a Britisher’s heart ... be it in the family, or as slyly dropped into a dish to spice it up a little by the chef  - that secret ingredient, not admitted to.

The Buffet by Jean-Louis Forain
(1852 - 1931)
The word sauce is a French word taken from the Latin ‘salsa’, meaning salted ... this is appropriate for Tabasco sauce – as an ancestral McIlhenny living on Avery Island in the deep bayous of Louisiana mashed those early peppers.

Avery Island sits on one of the biggest salt mines in America – so what better way to flavour this mish-mashed potpourri of Tabasco peppers than a pinch of salt, natural vinegar – said pulp left to mature in old white oak whisky barrels for up to three years.

In 1868 find some discarded cologne bottles – fill with McIlhenny sauce – on successful approval of peppery sauce by family and friends, order more cologne bottles – expand business for next 140+ years ... McIlhenny’s name will live on as the royal Tabasco producer.

That is Q for Queen’s hot favourite our Tabasco sauce – part of the ABC series on Aspects of British Cookery.

On Avery Island – studio album by American indie rock band Neutral Milk Hotel (cover see left)

Susan Scheid from Prufrock's Dilemma - an intellectual take on music, poetry and literary thoughts - a great informative blog to learn from ... Susan and a friend used to post at a now inactive blog called Raining Acorns (love the name!) where she mentioned she'd visited the bird sanctuary at Avery Island ... an added resource for us.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Coral Wild said...

I've been catching up on your ABC series Hilary.
I just love your slightly off-beat "take" on British cookery:)

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I love the image of the Queen sprinkling a bit of Tabasco on her dish, while wearing her tiara and cape, of course. I bet she would enjoy going down the hot pepper sauce aisle and seeing many types of sauces available.

Take 25 to Hollister
Don't be a Hippie

J.L. Murphey said...

Tabasco has always been one of my favorites for the table.
Lately the Thai chili sauce Srirachi has become available in the US. I find a little bit goes a long way towards adding heat when called for.Now I make my own version using Thai bird chilies fertilized with composted chicken manure. And yes, salt and vinegar too.

Elise Fallson said...

I'm a fan of Tabasco sauce, the hotter the better. I remember going to New Orleans years ago and walking down the hot sauce aisle, there was quite the selection! This also reminds me of a picture I saw on the internet a while back, someone used an empty Tabasco bottle to make a tiny terrarium. It was very cute.

Lynn said...

I had no idea. :) I'm more of a fan of Texas Pete, but this one is good, too.

Jo said...

I love Tabasco too. Didn't realise it had the Royal warrant. I like it because it is not too, too hot, there are many hotter sauces, but Tabasco is right for me.


Francene Stanley said...

If the Queen likes it, who am I to buck the trend? Good post. I can picture barefooted people trampling peppers instead of grapes, and sweating in the heat. ;-)

JoJo said...

My dad loved this stuff and my mom yelled at him b/c he had an ulcer.

SueH said...

I, too, quite like the image of HM dancing into the kitchen and deftly throwing a few shakes of Tabasco sauce into the cooking pots.....!

Pearl said...

How wonderful! I had no idea.

I love Tabasco on my eggs. :-)


Manzanita said...

This is interesting because it's all new to me. But I'm not much of a fan of Tabasco, either. I didn't even know it was made in Louisiana. I'm happy the British like it. Ha

Gattina said...

I have to have Tabasco always at home ! Mr. G. loves it ! I find it too spicy ! Salsa is still sauce in Italian, sometimes I think that Italian is a Latin dialect, lol !

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Coral .. delighted you've been enjoying them - yes they are off-beat .. that is for sure!!

@ Su-sieee - I'm sure the Queen does do a bit of cooking .. it's therapeutic .. but the images are just wonderful to think about aren't they .. the supermarket waltz?!

@ JL - I have both .. but the Thai chilli sauces are very good, and I've started using a chilli jam or preferably jelly if I can find some. Now making your own - that is definitely what I call a great idea - and sounds delicious .. especially being grown so organically.

@ Elise - I've never been to New Orleans, one day I hope, and perhaps now a visit to Avery Island .. what a great idea - to make a terrarium out of a tabasco bottle - I bet it was quite delightful and cute.

@ Lynn - I guess Texas Pete is similar .. I just loved the story attached to this ..

@ Jo - surprising what does get the Royal Warrant .. and you can at least monitor your drips from the tiny bottle ... when I want it I love it!

@ JoJo ... how funny I had to laugh .. still a little of what you love does you good doesn't it ..

@ Sue - yes the image of HM dancing with tiara and ball gown into the kitchen and adding a few strategic shakes of Tabasco .... or more if the visiting dignitaries were pains - though she'd never say so!!

@ Pearl - thanks for coming by and good to meet you ..

@ Manzanita - well I wondered if everyone knew it was made down south .. so had to put the history in ... and we couldn't do without our Queen's hot favourite ...

@ Gattina - ah Mr G loves it - well store cupboard essentials always vary don't they .. and I hadn't realised salsa is still sauce in Italian ..

Italian as a latin dialect .. might make sense!

Cheers to you all - lovely to see you ... Hilary

cleemckenzie said...

I'd never pictured the Queen and Tabasco sauce together. Interesting.

My Pond Pudding is waiting for me to taste it.

Anonymous said...

What a fascinating connection you've drawn here! As it happens, I've visited Avery Island, which is not only the home of Tobasco Sauce, but also a sanctuary for egrets. It's a phenomenal place. Here's a link containing some information and photos:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We have a bottle in our fridge and use it all the time.

Pearson Report said...

Well, now I feel very royal knowing I have a bottle of Her Majesty's favourite sauce in my larder.

As always... I come away with a little more insight due to your great posts.

Thanks also for your lovely comments over at my place.
Seems The Queen is making the Q rounds. :) :)

Cheers, Jenny @ PEARSON REPORT

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

All the men in my family love that stuff. A little dab for me, please. Queen Elizabeth is just so surprising. Good for her.

Chatty Crone said...

I would not have guessed the Queen would have liked hot sauce! lol Have a good weekend. sandie

Inger said...

You are an amazing woman! I had no idea about where this sauce came from. I have to check it out with my cooking Louisiana husband, see if he knows about the salt.

Rhonda Albom said...

I had no idea, and I can't picture the Queen pouring Tabasco sauce. Seems to common. LOL

Janie Junebug said...

With a husband like Prince Philip, I guess the Queen needs something to spice up her life.


Laura Eno said...

That's funny! I can't picture the Queen enjoying Tabasco sauce. :)

walk2write said...

Sorry I've missed your A to Z series, Ms. Hilary. I will try to catch up before the end of the month. I have to agree with the Queen on her choice of hot sauce. Oooeee! That's some good stuff!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lee - it does seem incongruous doesn't it, but I bet the Queen and family enjoy what we do ..

Pond Pudding - wonderful and I see you've commented further and no doubt will give a full feed back shortly .. just delighted it seemed to pass muster!

@ Susan - the connections through life can be so amusing, yet informative .. Tabasco and HM The Queen, and now you and Avery Island .. thanks so much for the link about the bird sanctuary.

The photos you've given us in the post are wonderful .. and the background to the Audubon Society makes an interesting read .. and the fact the 'island' is actually a salt dome. Thanks so much!

@ Alex - mine is in my cupboard .. but it's not so hot (temperature) here ..

@ Jenny - well that's good - your image will have gone up a notch or two! Delighted you enjoyed the post... and loved your posts ..

@ Joylene - it does seem to be a man thing .. but I must say I love tabasco, though it doesn't come out quite so often! I know her Maj keeps amazing us ..

@ Sandie - nor would I .. yet I guess she's human, as we all are, so they'll try all different things. Makes sense.

@ Inger - I seem to have a nose for quirky post ideas - lovely to hear you obviously enjoyed the thought! I'm sure your hubby will confirm the post - Susan (PruFrock) confirms I'm right!!

@ Rhonda - perhaps it's the children .. but still I imagine Prince Philip would enjoy a splash. Too common - poor woman ... !!

@ Janie - Prince Philip is pretty spicy I'd think! He seems to have a great zest for life and sparks lots of thoughts, yet does lots of good works for many ...

@ Laura - it conjures up lots of images doesn't it!

@ W2W - no worries, it's always good to see you when you can drop .. and the advantage of blogging is that the posts remain up to read whenever anyone can spare some time.

The Queen has good taste doesn't she! I enjoy it too - on occasions ...

The Queenly images we can conjure up .. make a fun read - thanks for all your comments and interest ..

Cheers to you all - enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

Lisa said...

Who would have thought...??

Tina said...

LOL. Our house is NEVER without a bottle of Tabasco. It's also found on most restaurant tables. There's even a chipotle version now. Had NO idea the queen liked it. Incongruous indeed!
Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

MunirGhiasuddin said...

I did not realize that the Queen's favourite is Tabasco. Now I shall quote that in front of my kids to impress them.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

My son in law is from Guatamala and puts hot sauce on EVERYTHING. His favorite is tapatio sauce.

Amanda Trought said...

Hilary, I am finding that as I've grown older I have a liking for hot sauce, I never used to but over the last two years my tastebuds seems to like flavours and the kick it can give:)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lisa - exactly - it surprised me .. yet is obvious isn't it - they're just like us ..

@ Tina - there's lots of versions now, but we grew up with the original Tabasco bottle at hand .. which I still favour.

Her Maj's household likes it ... I expect she will have given it a go - but I imagine it's Prince Philip who indulges ..

Crazy thought isn't it ..

@ Munir - glad I've added another snippet to your fun knowledge base ..

@ Karen - I don't think I could put hot sauce on everything .. but I guess that's the way he's grown up eating really spicy food ... he's missing so much?!

@ Amanda - our habits do change don't they .. I've recently started enjoying the hot chili sauces, but not on everything ... so I'm like you - a little when I feel like it ..

Good to see you all - moston her visits would feel at home ..

Cheers Hilary

Empty Nest Insider said...

It is surprising that the Queen likes spicy food. My husband also likes Tabasco sauce, but it's not for me.


Juliet said...

I smiled at the thought of the Queen enjoying this hot sauce.

Silvia Writes said...

Having a bit of a hard time imagining the Queen using hot sauce, but I'm sure she does. Love the facts you're sharing with us.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Julie - I'm not sure she likes it .. but Tabasco reigns supreme on her sideboard at the Palaces ... much as it does in your kitchen for your hubby!

@ Juliet - it does bring a smile to us doesn't it ..

@ Silvia - it is a little difficult and I shouldn't think she gets that many meals at home ... but it's amusing to think about it ..

Cheers Hilary

Deniz Bevan said...

I wish I liked it... but I prefer Frank's Red Hot!

Sara said...

Wow, am I behind or what?

I enjoyed this post. It makes me think of Mikey, my son-in-law. He absolutely loves any hot sauce...the hotter the better.

I didn't realize Tabasco could be found in the Queen's pantry. It's nice to know this:~)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Deniz - thankfully we all like something different ..

@ Sara - well days disappear! Well that's good .. to get you thinking of London, your daughter and Mikey .. I'd never thought about that the Queen would have a kitchen like ours - well just slightly like!

Cheers to you both .. Hilary