R.I.P. Mr. McIlhenny (Paul Carr Polk). The McIlhenny family invented Tabasco sauce after the Civil War and ran the business from Avery Island, LA, one of the five salt dome islands in south central Louisiana, between Lafayette and the Gulf. We took a field trip there once, and before you even entered the building, the acrid, tangy smell of the fermenting pepper mash made you gasp. Involuntarily, your eyes began to weep. But there's nothing quite like it (though admittedly I only like the original red sauce; T likes the green one), and one of the items I most wanted when I got married was a filigreed silver Tabasco bottle holder for my table. I still love and use it.