It’s always been interesting to me learning how and why cigars are named what they’re named. Over the years we’ve seen lots of Don this and Don that, a huge amount of numbers incorporated in names and very unusual “out of the box” ones. Even our own Time Warp cigars have a reason for their particular name. In this chat with Joaquin, he tells us how Pepin chose the Flor de las Antillas name for this latest cigar blend from My Father Cigars.
The Antilles islands form the larger part of the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea. The group of islands that are considered part of the “Greater Antilles” are Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamiaica, Puerto Rico and the Cayman Islands. Below is a photo of the Flor de las Antillas cigars and the old style artwork chosen for the boxes and bands.
I was filming Willy Herrera, who worked with me blending my first cigar, about how the “Entubado” method of rolling was done. As were talking we kept hearing store bells go off, cell phones ringing, you name it and the video ended up impossible to hear! Rather than even try to post that noisy concert I’d figure I’d take one of the still photos from the video itself and show you what reaction our cigar brings! This is one happy cigar smoker!
Entubado is a special way of rolling tobacco leaves to create a cigar that gives you a smooth effortless draw. Most cigars are made by placing one cigar leaf after the other in folds or on top of each other. That stack is then rolled into a binder and then the wrapper leaf. In the Entubado method each individual tobacco leaf is rolled up in a scroll fashion. The roller then adds the various leaves in a certain order to maintain the cigar’s consistency in flavor according to it’s blend. Those tubes are then rolled in the binder and then finished carefully with the most delicate leaf of all – the wrapper. In my blend, the Bonita 18th Anniversary, we also have what is called a Cuban Triple Cap applied to create the cap. This ensures when you cut it that the cigar won’t unravel on you.
Willy and I were discussing the time and effort it takes to do this time honored method. The rollers that make our Bonita 18th have all been trained, and worked in Cuba for a minimum of four or more years, before coming to the US. ETBCigars only hires those rollers that are certified as Level 9 rollers, which are the most highly skilled, and produce some of the finest cigars made anywhere.
The wrapper is a silken Sumatran, binder Nicaraguan and the filler a combination of well aged Nicaraguan and Dominican. The end result is an elegant, well balanced and flavorful smoke.
Leave us a comment about some of the things you enjoy most about a cigar and we’ll enter you in our CigarVlog drawing! One winner, chosen at random, will receive five of these cigars! Contest ends June 3rd, 2012 so don’t wait!
Every Memorial Day I can’t help but remember one of my favorite aunts. She would make her wonderful egg potato salad and serve it in an amber colored bowl that had been my grandmothers. It was a tradition. The picnic table would be set up in the backyard, my uncle would be Chef of the Day lighting up charcoal, and before you knew it the scent of grilling burgers and chicken would be filling the air. Something about cooking outside that is fantastic. Whether it’s a hot dog at the beach, a picnic lunch, or pretzels on cold day walking down a NYC street, there’s just a certain something about outdoor eating that works it’s culinary magic. The highlight of all this cooking going on in their backyard would begin when everyone was seated around the picnic table. Out would come this potato salad, in this very special bowl, and my aunt’s face would beam as everyone was served. Then? She’d get the bowl and go right back into the house to put it back in the “fridge” as she called it because after all “It has mayonnaise and eggs in it and you can’t leave it out”. I learned to cook from one of the best! Thank you Aunt J. You are in my memory this Memorial Day. You held down the home front when our men went off in WW!!, you never forgot to write them, pray for them, and thankfully welcome them home. Her recipe was lost and the bowl along with it a few years back. I only hope my own version of it, made from memory, (shown above)can hold a candle to hers! I use a green Emile Henry bowl but it’s what’s inside that counts!
Wishing everyone a good, safe, fun filled, cigar smoking, and wonderful Memorial Day!
Bonita Smoke Shop hosted Senor Pepin Garcia this past Friday for a cigar event. It was nice to have the luxury of some extra time and the opportunity to sit in my office and talk one on one with him about cigars. Not an easy task since we did have the Spanish/English language barrier going on. In reality that barrier simply evaporated as we began talking cigars!
We smoked cigars, had some coffee and began talking about the sun’s strength, amounts of rain and quality of the soil and how each of those interconnected variables affects the flavor of tobacco. How certain areas, in different countries with their own weather patterns and tobacco fields, produce the various “flavors” we taste in the cigars. Pepin has a gift of being able to take those various “flavors” and blend them into cigars that have had some of the highest rating in the business.
Now that we had found a common “language” we continued on talking about family values, the past, present and future of premium cigars. Next up was food (those of you that know me just said “of course”!) and how we both loved the delicate filled pastries called Cuban Pastelitos! More about those in another post!
Thanks to Pepin himself and Joaquin of My Father Cigars for all his hard work and for making this event a memorable one!
The saying goes “A picture is worth a thousand words” and that’s how the idea of our Cigar Vlog began! Not only a blog but also a Vlog!
Bonita Smoke Shop began twenty years ago as a tiny sardine can sized tobacco store. Our goal then, and still is, was to provide our customers with the finest quality cigars at the lowest possible prices. Hope you’ll stop in often and find out what’s new, what’s happening and what’s smoking!
As we begin this new CigarVlog I can’t help but take a trip down Memory Lane and remember one of our first conversations with a cigar company. The shop was brand spanking new and totally empty! Time to begin filling it up with the finest cigars! Bob Lillienfield, of General Cigar, was one of the most helpful of gentlemen. He asked me “How may I be of service to you?” and we answered reply “To help us become the best smoke shop we can be”.How big was this dream store of ours at the time? It was one lone used jewelry showcase! We wish Bob was still around so we could show him how far a dream can go! We sincerely thank him for believing in us.
These are one of the easiest ways to humidify your cigars! Great for tucking in a ziplock bag with extra cigars, in a travel humidor, as an extra way to keep your humidity levels “level” in your humidor and work amazingly well!