Written by Puff Staff

Saturday, 09 March 2013

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altThe Cuban Cigar Festival has drawn to a close but left us with some delicious memories, while another new cigar bar opens and we get less than appetizing news about what’s really in some cigars.  Also see what's new from Pedro Martin and see what Rush Limbaugh has to say about the Opus X.






Tobacco Cuisine Spices Up Cuban Cigar Festival

While tobacco is not usually thought of as an ingredient for recipes, one adventurous chef managed to whip up an assortment of delicious dishes with the sweet leaves.



Grgur Baksic, who is both owner and executive chef of the Gastronomadi dinner club in Zagreb, treated a standing-room-only crowd to his unique menu at last week’s 15th annual Cuban Cigar Festival in Havana. The sumptuous meal included baked stone bass filets, bread and butter, ice cream and a decadent demi-glace sauce, all infused with the flavor of Cuban tobacco leaves.

Attendee Gary Heathcott of Little Rock, AK, said of the dishes, “Wow, buzz city! The first buzz I ever received from biting into fish.” Another compared the taste of tobacco as a spice to ancho chili powder.

If you really want to try this at home, the bass filets are wrapped in tobacco and banana leaves with a bit of garlic and honey, then baked for about half an hour.

When asked why he used tobacco leaves in his cooking, Baksic replied, “Why rosemary? Why chili? It’s about variety. We are a little bit crazy. Our company are gastro-explorers, so we are always looking for what ... is not normal for other people.”

Auction of Luxury Humidors Brings in $1.1 Million

Before this year’s Cuban Cigar Festival closed, six extravagant wooden humidors were auctioned off, with the proceeds of $1.1 million going to Cuba’s public health system. Each humidor contained between 350 and 550 cigars each.



Famous names on hand at the 2013 festival included tennis legend Boris Becker and actor Danny Glover, who was presented with a silver sculpture in recognition of his support for Cuba.

Callahan’s Dublin House Opens in Sioux City

For years, cigar lover Shennen Saltzman had longed to build his own cigar lounge in his home of Sioux City, Nebraska. He told a reporter, “There’s no place to smoke cigars indoors in Siouxland. The closest are in Omaha or Sioux Falls.”



All that has changed since Saltzman opened Callahan’s Dublin House, conveniently located in the same building as Callahan’s Discount Liquor and Sherm’s Smoke Shop, where customers can purchase at least $10 worth of cigars to gain admittance to the bar.

The Dublin House is small but cozy, with comfy couches, chairs, a bar and several TVs. The close quarters can lead to the air getting thick with smoke, but according to Saltzman, “It only really gets smoky when we’re having an event or party. If you’re in there with eight or 10 people it’s not a problem. We have a state-of-the-art of ventilation system that brings in fresh air from the outside and moves the old air out.”

Saltzman has plans to host monthly gatherings pairing cigars with select alcoholic libations, starting with the “St. Practice Day” event that will feature cigars with Irish Whiskey and beer.

Callahan’s Dublin House is located at 100 West 6th Street, South Sioux City, NE 68776-1742, 402-494-1419.

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