Cigars: How They Get from the Seed to the Shelf, Part Two
Written by Kevin Godbee

Friday, 13 March 2009

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Regardless of whether you know the exact composition of every cigar you smoke or not one thing is for sure ... you will immediately know that the tobacco that goes into a cigar has a unique taste that's missing from the tobacco that is used to make pipe tobacco or cigarettes. That unique taste or flavor is there regardless of which country the tobacco comes from and it seems that the warm tropical climate brings out this flavor that's missing in tobacco grown in cooler climates.

While the flavor remains the same the smoothness and taste will vary depending on the country where the tobacco was grown. For example tobacco leaf grown in Cuba will produce an entirely different taste and texture to tobacco leaf grown in Indonesia. Both are countries close to the equator but there is something about the soil ... even though it may be sandy ... that produces those sometimes not so subtle differences.

The difference is noticeable even in countries that seem to be close to each other and we don't have to look for such diverse countries as Cuba and Indonesia to find a difference in taste and smoothness. That difference can be found in tobacco leaf grown in different countries within the Caribbean.


However, that difference may not be so noticeable in the future. Because there is such a demand for the taste of Cuban cigars some more highly skilled farmers in parts of the Caribbean are making every effort to work with the soil and add supplements to the soil on their farms till it has the same composition as the soil in the Cuban tobacco farms.

Changing the soil combination has had the desired effect and today it's very hard to tell the difference between tobacco grown in genuine Cuban soil and tobacco that has been grown on one of the soil-modified farms in other parts of the Caribbean.

It's quite likely that other farmers will also work towards transforming their soil but hopefully not too many will take this path. While Cuban cigars do have an exquisite taste the world would be a very boring place if every cigar tasted the same and then where would I get my favorite Nicaraguan cigars?

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