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Olmecas de Tabasco 121

Notice: All logos on this page are included within the parameters of 17 U.S.C. § 107, which states that the reproduction of a copyrighted work for purposes of criticism and/or comment is not an infringement of copyright. No challenge to the copyrights of these logos is intended by their inclusion here.
Posted 2013 June 24

The Mexican state of Tabasco is known for two things: a baseball team with a logo far too boring to write about, and Tabasco sauce. Or at least it would be if Tabasco sauce came from Tabasco. It doesn't, but tabasco peppers do come from Tabasco, and Tabasco sauce is made tabasco peppers, so you can say that the ingredients for Tabasco sauce come from Tabasco even though the sauce doesn't. Ot at least you could say that if the tabasco peppers used in Tabasco sauce actually came from Tabasco, which they don't. But the tabasco pepper is native to Tabasco, so the ancestors of the tabasco peppers used in Tabasco sauce do inarguably come from Tabasco. Therefore we can safely say that Tabasco sauce comes from Tabasco, in the same way we can say that Rice Krispies come from China.

Tabasco sauce was invented by Edmund McIlhenny, a fiftysomething Marylander who had lived in Louisiana for most of the past thirty years, except for a brief stint in Texas working as a civilian employee of the Confederate army. He had made his fortune as a banker, and as you might expect, he didn't have much fortune left after the South did what most places do after they lose a war, which is have an economic depression. He took up gardening, probably thinking that growing your own food is a good idea when the entire state is too poor to buy anything.

One of the problems with gardening is, of course, that it's boring. Perhaps to alleviate the boredom, he came up with the idea to make a sauce out of some of the stuff he was growing in his garden. One of those things he was growing was, as you've already guessed, tabasco peppers. I'm not entirely certain why he settled on tabasco peppers as the base of his sauce, but it might have had something to do with the fact that it was still right after the Civil War, and the only people in Louisiana who had any money to spend were carpetbaggers from the North. If McIlhenny wanted to get revenge on the carpetbaggers and the carpetbaggers happened to be from, oh I don't know, Indiana, then I'm sure a tabasco-pepper based sauce would be a good idea. Do you remember what I had to say about Midwestern "cuisine" in my review of the Florence Freedom? I'm guessing any carpetbaggers from the Midwest would have had no freaking clue what to do with something this spicy. They'd have bought it because it looked interesting, and probably died of a heart attack upon consuming any of it.

The first bottles of Tabasco sauce, incidentally, were poured into cologne bottles. I don't mean he put them into bottles that had been intended to be used as cologne bottles. I mean he put the sauce into used cologne bottles. All I can say is I hope he washed them out first. Of course, if the only people buying the sauce were Midwestern carpetbaggers, then I doubt he really cared that much. He stopped using used cologne bottles eventually, and I'm guessing what happened is that some locals started buying the sauce. That makes me wonder who those local people buying it were. Remember, the only people who really had money were the carpetbaggers, so the only way locals had of getting money was from the carpetbaggers. What could someone with nothing offer a carpetbagger do to get money? What I'm getting at here, if you haven't guessed, is that I suspect the first locals to buy the stuff were hookers. What they did with tabasco sauce, I'd rather not know.

Today, of course, it's not just hookers buying the stuff. In fact, the American military buys the stuff and puts it in MREs. So, apparently, do the Canadians and British. I don't quite get that. The American military I get: you expect the American military to provide American condiments. But the Canadians and British? Did they look at all the available condiments from their own country and decide to go with something American instead? Okay, now that I think about it, that makes sense, at least with the British. It may make sense with the Canadians, too; I don't know. Really, all I know about Canadian food is poutine and Tim Horton's. Neither of these sounds particularly appealing, but I'm sure this is an incomplete picture of Canadian cuisine. It's not like British food, where I know enough to confidently state that most if not all of it is dreadful. But I acknowledge the possibility.

I could go on, but I don't really have much more to say about Tabasco sauce. But if I tried, I could still probably come up with more to say about it than about the Olmecas' logo. In fact, I'm going to prove that by writing everything interesting there is to say about the Olmecas' logo:

Final Score: 121 points.
Penalties: Region (egregious), 17 pts; Equipment (triply-egregious), 58 pts; Diamond, 16 pts; Letter, 24 pts; Logo, 12 pts.
Bonuses: Local, -6 pts.

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