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Published On: Fri, May 22nd, 2015

A Few Misconceptions about Pipe Tobacco

When it comes to pipe tobacco, there are actually a lot of misconceptions out there. One of the big ones is about how these pipes are actually made. This is a real shame, particularly when you consider that there have been so many magazine articles and books on the subject, specifically written to address these issues. However, too many people who actually smoke pipe tobacco haven’t looked into these publications. So, what are some of the biggest misconceptions around?

Latakia

A lot of people think that Latakia is created when tobacco is hung over a camel dung fire in a barn. This is one of the most famous old wives’ tales of all, and it comes from a very easy to understand rumor. Latakia is indeed made by hanging it up inside a building. The tobacco itself is Smyrna (if made in Cyprus) or Shek-el-Bint (if made in Syria). The tobacco leaves are hung over a fire inside a building.

However, this fire is absolutely not made out of camel dung. Rather, it uses juniper or other aromatic woods in Cyprus, or oak in Syria. This creates the beef jerky, campfire aroma that the tobacco is so famous for. So where does the Latakia and camel dung rumor come from? Basically, this is because the Middle East often uses camel dung as a form of heating, in the same way as Native Americans use buffalo chips. This doesn’t mean, however, that the same fuel source is used in creating this aromatic tobacco.

Anti-Smoking ad date 1905, public domain

Anti-Smoking ad date 1905, public domain

Cavendish

Cavendish, contrary to popular belief, is not the name of a tobacco plant. Originally, Cavendish tobaccos were created when tobacco leaves were pressed together. Sometimes, this would involve using heat as well, and, more commonly, syrups, liquors or other flavorings were added to it.

The tobacco would then be left to mature for a while, during which time it would assimilate and marry the different flavors. Once completed, it would be cut in a flake way and then it would be tumbled again. This would make it look like a broken flake or ribbon cut.

The issue is then further confused because of Black Cavendish. This is made by using cut tobacco that has first been treated with sugar water. After treatment, it is toasted until it is virtually black in color. This then caramelizes the sugar and this causes the tobacco itself to taste very much like brown sugar. The confusing part is that, when we see Black Cavendish, were usually mean a toasted tobacco that has a variety of added flavors. This causes the tobacco to be moist. Real Black Cavendish is toasted and is very dry.

The final confusion in this is that the term is now often used to describe something that has a top dressing and/or a flavor casing.

Cavendish, therefore, is not a tobacco plant, but rather a process to describe how the tobacco has been made. Generally, the base is either a Virginia and/or Burley plant. Sometimes, an oriental tobacco will also be added for more flavor.

Guest Author: Lolita Di

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  1. pipe tobacco says:

    yes many people they dont know what exactly the real pipe tobacco is , thank you for this article i really enjoyed it

  2. Pipe Tobacco Dealers » A Few Misconceptions about Pipe Tobacco | Pipe Tobacco Dealers | www.pipetobaccodealers.com says:

    […] A Few Misconceptions about Pipe Tobacco This creates the beef jerky, campfire aroma that the tobacco is so famous for. So where does the Latakia and camel dung rumor come from? Basically, this is because the Middle East often uses camel dung as a form of heating, in the same way as Native … Read more on The Global Dispatch […]

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