Definition of Cigar – A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco leaf, rolled in a series of types and sizes that is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the mouth.
History of Cigar
The origins of cigar smoking are still unknown. A Guatemalan (Guatemala is a country in Central America) ceramic pot dating back to the tenth century features Mayan smoking tobacco leaves tied together with a string. The Mayan term for smoking “Sikar” which has probably given rise to the name cigar.
In olden days, cigars used to be made by hands & were straight in shape. With the introduction of a wooden mould in which the leaves could be pressed into any desired form. It is tubular in shape.
Before we go forward please one point noted here smoking cigar is as bad as smoking cigarettes. It can cause cancer of the oral cavity, lung, and pancreas cancer especially to daily cigar smoker.
Cigars contain up to 70 times more nicotine than cigarettes. Burning a cigar emits up to 25 times the amount of carbon monoxide than the emission of just one cigarette.
Parts of Cigar
It is the inner core of the Cigars and forms the centre of the cigar.
Created from different blends of imperfect leaves of various kinds of tobacco that are broken or crushed up.
The strength (i.e., flavor & smoking quality) of the cigar depends on the filler.
Long fillers are made up of whole leaves that are made up of higher quality.
Short fillers are made up of shredded leaves, which are inferior.
Beneath the wrapper could be a little bunch of “filler” leaves sure along inside a leaf known as a “binder“
Made up of a good quality single strong leaf which is small in size & are bound around the filler to hold it together.
Binding leaf is typically a sun-grown leaf from the top of a tobacco plant and is chosen for its elasticity and durability when rolled.
It is the outer covering of the cigar i.e., outermost layer.
Made from the whole tobacco leaf of the finest quality, which are quite soft & elastic in nature.
The most expensive component of a cigar.
The color of the wrapper is often used to describe the cigar as a whole.
The wrapper is then wrapped carefully around the binder & stuck with vegetable gum, forming the rounded close head & then cut at the other end to the length required.
Cigars are made both by hand & machine & handmade cigars are always expensive.
Structure of Cigar
Cigar has two ends i.e., “Head” & “Foot”
Head- It is the end closer to the band & has a leaf cap.
Foot- Opposite end to the head.
While smoking, foot end of the cigar is lit as well as head is used for drawing smoke.
Types of Cigar
According to shape, cigars are classified mainly into two types that is
Most common shape.
Also known as “Coronas”.
They have a cylindrical body, straight sides, one end open, and a round tobacco-leaf “cap” on the other end.
Traditionally it has been the benchmark against which all the cigar formats are measured.
Parejo can also have pigtail cap & fan tail cap (flag style cap). Twist & pull the cap or cut to your preference
Ex: Cigarillo, Rothschild, Robolo, Corona, Petit Corona, Robusto, Panatella, Double Corona, Churchill, Toro, Ascot etc.,
These Cigars come in irregular shapes.
Sometimes consider of higher quality because they are more difficult to make.
During the 19th century, it was more popular but by 1930s they had fallen out of fashion.
However recently receive the small popularity; the Cuban brand “Cuaba” has only figurado in their range.
Other types of Cigar
Shaped like Parejo but considered as a Figurado because of its enormous size.
Slightly longer & thinner.
A figurado shaped cigar that tapers sharply at the head (i.e., close to the head).
This types of cigar similar to Torpedo, but instead of coming to a rounded point, comes to a flatter, broader edge, much like an actual chisel.
Shape was patented & can only be found as LFD brand (La Flor Dominicana).
It is a short, narrow or miniature cigar.
Most cigarillos are machine-made, which is cheaper than hand-rolling.
Cigarillos are informally called as small cigars, Mini cigars & Club cigars.
It is smaller than regular cigars but usually larger than little cigar, filtered cigars & cigarettes, thus similar in size and composition to small panatela sized cigars, cheroots and traditional blunt cigars (marijuana cigars).
Cigarillos are usually made without filters, and are meant to be smoked like a cigar & not inhaled.
Generally, a cigarillo contains about 3 grams of tobacco (comparatively a cigarette contains less than 1 gram of cigar), the length varies from 3 to 4 inches and the diameter is about 6 to 9 mm, usually 8 mm.
It is unusual to store them in humidors, partly because they are smoked in large quantities and so have a short shelf-life.
And sold in varying quantities: singles, 2 packs, 3 packs & 5 packs.
Cigarillos are very inexpensive, usually sold for less than a dollar.
A wooden box used for the storage of cigars & tobacco.
Spanish Cedar (Cedrela Odarata) wood is preferred to any kind of box as:
Special quality of Humidor is it holds more moisture than most woods, so it helps in maintaining humidity.
It is not prone to “warping” or “cupping” in high humidity and it imparts its aroma to cigars before they are sold.
Service of cigars in a Restaurant
Place a clean ashtray on the table.
Present the humidor to the guest in order to select his/her cigar.
Remove the selected cigar carefully making sure your finger nail does not touch the wrapper of any of the cigars.
It is advisable to place the cigar so that the guest can easily pick it up without touching any of the other cigars.
Ask the guest if the band of the cigar may be removed & what type of cut he/she prefers before taking it to the side board.
Bring the cigar to the sideboard to be prepared as the guest wishes.
If the guest wants the band to be removed, gently apply pressure below the band & remove it without damaging the wrapper.
Keep the cut cigar over the side plate to remove any unwanted/extra tiny particles.
Present the prepared cigar along with the cigar smoker’s matches on a quarter plate.
A cigar should not be pierced with match or cocktail stick as it block the flow of air & the smoke gets a tar smell.
It should be lit by a match only, as fumes of the cigarette lighter may affect its taste.
If the band is not removed before lighting the cigar the guest will remove it during the course of smoking.
Removal of band is easier after smoking for a while, as the cigar has warmed up a little.
The cigar should be rotated during lighting to achieve an even burn.
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