|While on holiday in Costa Rica in January 2005, I came
across a bottle of Tabasco that was not made by McIlhenny of
Avery Island, Louisiana, USA. I don't speak Spanish and relied on Google's
translator. It appears that this Tabasco was made in Costa Rica by Unilever
de Centroamérica under their Lizano brand name and distributed throughout
As any of you chile heads already
know, the US government improperly gave McIlhenny a trademark on the name Tabasco.
Ever since McIlhenny sues or threatens to sue anyone in the US who even thinks of
using the term "tabasco", even if it is to identify an item in an ingredient
Tabasco is the name of variety of chiles of the species,
Capsicum frutescens. It is also the name of the state in Mexico from which Tabascos
are said to have been brought to the US. It's as if US government allowed the
registration of the single-word name, Jalapeno or Lime or Louisiana, but then we do have
the best government that money can buy.
The Lizano label appears to be generic because the chiles shown
are not Tabascos and the name "Tabasco" is just added in the center. The
label chiles look like Capsicum annuum, possibly variety Santa Fe Grande or Fresno.
Most likely they are just an artist's rendition of generic chiles.
The Lizano Tabasco sauce is almost indistinguishable
in taste, appearance and heat from the McIlhenny Tabasco, but Lizano's is a lot