18 July 2019

Interesting Cigar Facts

Cigars have a long history, with evidence of tobacco smoking from thousands of years ago. Whilst many cigar smokers are under the impression that they know all there is about their beloved cigars, there are still some surprises to be found. Check out these cigar facts and see if you learn something new!

Tobacco seeds are small but fairly high maintenance, about a thousand tobacco seeds can fit inside a thimble. Once they have been planted, cigar tobacco plants need approximately eight hours of sunlight per day.

When an American pilot that had been shot down in Bosnia was rescued, President Bill Clinton marked the heroic occasion by lighting up and enjoying a Romeo Y Julieta cigar in the White House. This meant that he was breaking Hilary’s no smoking rule!

Cigar rollers have a special job title; a highly skilled or specifically trained cigar roller is referred to as a torcedor. They are often able to produce at least 200 cigars each day.

Poisoned cigars were used to target Fidel Castro; in 1961 the CIA was given instructions to use their medical services to place a poison into Fidel Castro’s cigars, but the scheme didn’t go according to plan. Castro came out and said that he had received a diplomatic gift from the CIA and that the cigars had made him sick, but had tasting notes of leather and gorgonzola!

Cigars used to be fairground prizes; the phrase “close, but no cigar” originated in the day when a cigar was a popular carnival game prize. Imagine the complete uproar today if the local fair was handing out cigars instead of cuddly toys.

Christopher Columbus introduced Cuban tobacco to the western world; in 1492, Christopher Columbus first landed on the island commonly known today as Cuba. The locals introduced him to the burning and inhaling of the leaves they called Cohiba, known as tobacco.

High humidity levels are needed for fermenting tobacco. Prior to rolling, tobacco leaves must have a humidity level of around 80 to 95 percent. The taste and aroma from your favourite cigar comes from the fermentation process the tobacco has been through.

Humidors are essential. A cigar humidor uses Spanish cedar and it is normally kiln dried to stop the bleeding of sap. A properly conditioned cigar can age, develop and mature for a lifetime when kept in optimum conditions in a humidor.

An oxygen mask was created for smoking cigars whilst flying. In preparation for his first high-altitude flight, Winston Churchill ordered the creation of an oxygen mask that would accommodate him smoking his favourite cigar.

Legendary author Mark Twain used to smoke around 300 cigars every single month, at one point he quit the habit and ended up with writer's block. He then resumed the habit and wrote a book in just three months!