If you ask people which cigars they think are the best, they would tell you Cuban cigars are above the other cigars that are currently available. Because of the trade embargo against Cuba that has existed since the 1960s, it is illegal to purchase or sell Cuban cigarettes in the United States. Europeans first discovered tobacco in 1492 in the New World and soon after this Cuba became the major production center of tobacco. By the 1700s, cigars were manufactured in Spain using Cuban tobacco and right before the 19th century, cigars were primarily manufactured in Cuba and this continues today.
Types of Cuban Cigars
Cuban cigars have four types of tobacco and these types come from two tobacco plants; the taller corojo and the shorter criollo. Some people who smoke Cuban cigars say that the taller corojo are not good for smoking so this is used as the leaves for rolling cigars. The shorter criollo is better for smoking and the remaining types of tobacco come from sections of the criollo plant.
It’s Getting Financially Difficult for Cubans To Smoke Their Own Cigars
Because more Cubans are receiving low salaries, it is becoming difficult for them to purchase cigars. Nowadays it is mostly tourists to Cuba who are buying and smoking Cuban cigars. In addition to this, there has been an anti-smoking sentiment due to the government’s efforts to curb the smoking habit in the 1980s. Even Fidel Castro quit smoking during that decade. Meanwhile, Cuba exports millions of cigars to several countries each year except the United States.
What’s So Great About Cuban Cigars?
One reason why Cuban cigars are so so great because Cuba has excellent pH levels in its’ soil and Cuba has the right climate for producing tobacco. Another reason why Cuban cigars are the best is because Cubans have hundreds of years of experience in making them, and they know how to pick the tobacco leaves at the right time to manufacture good cigars.
Spotting Fake Cuban Cigars
The box of Cuban cigars should have “Hecho en Cuba totalmente a mano” on the top part of the box. When you smell the cigars after opening them, they should give off a full-bodied and robust flavor. As you touch the cigar it should be firm but soft in some spots. The outer leaves of the cigar should be the same color and not excessively light.
JFK And The Embargo on Cuban Products
One of the main reasons why JFK initiated the trade embargo against Cuban cigars and other products from Cuba was to attempt to punish Fidel Castro for his close ties with the Soviet Union and Communist values. Interestingly enough, JFK ordered Cuban cigars to be delivered to him right before he signed the trade embargo.
Cigar Smoking When on Cruise Ship Vacations
You might have the opportunity of smoking Cuban cigars if you are on a cruise vacation. Though cigar and pipe smoking restrictions onboard vary from one cruise line or ship to another, it is still possible for you to be permitted to smoke the cigars in certain areas. It is always common for cigar smoking to be permitted on one side of the ship, outside on certain decks. There are premium cigars on sale by many cruise lines, and at premium prices, and this is why some people try to bring theirs. Before the vacation, you need to confirm from your travel agent if the ship is cigar-friendly, as it is common for smoking restrictions to change from one month to another.
Cuban cigars have fascinated people worldwide for centuries and for Americans in particular, it represents a symbol of the time when they could freely enjoy the cigars and are now a forbidden luxury. If you are an American and you want Cuban cigar, you would need to buy and smoke it in another nation but beware because some so-called producers of Cuban cigars in those nations may not be the real thing. For most Americans, their best bet is to buy cigars that are made in the United States since they cannot always travel to different countries. But those cigars will not match the robust favor and strength of the Cuban cigars. You can research Cuban cigars by reading authoritative articles on this topic and some nonfiction books.