Discovery of Cigars and Cigar-related Facts
The word “cigar” is derived from the Spanish word “cigarro,” which in turn is considered to be derived from the Maya language word “sik,” meaning tobacco. A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco leaves.
Discovery of Cigars
The inhabitants of Central and South America have smoked cigars for many centuries.
Primitive cigars were different in shape and form from today’s cigars. They were literally a bundle of dried and fermented tobacco leaves wrapped in other kinds of leaves.
Cigars: Who Created Them?
Historians think the cigar originated from ancient Mayans, who smoked tobacco wrapped in a palm or plantain leaf. Archaeologists have even uncovered a 10th-century Mayan pot depicting a Mayan guy blowing on one of these extremely early cigars.
Spanish explorers introduced Cigars to Europe at the end of the 15th century. Columbus first introduced a cigar in Europe in 1492, which he discovered in his legendary voyage. Thus cigars soon became popular in Spain and Portugal.
Later the cigar became famous in France by Jean Nicot on his return from Portugal, where he was a diplomat. The tobacco plant was named Nicotiana after him.
Previously, tobacco smoking was known for its medicinal values, but later it was denounced by Philip II of Spain and James I of England, who considered it evil.
Manufacturing of Cigars
Cigars, as we see them today, were first manufactured in Spain in the 18th century using Cuban tobacco.
Subsequently, the manufacturing of cigars started in France and Germany too. Soon cigars became famous all over Europe. Cigar smoking was considered fashionable.
Cigars arrived back in America in the middle of the 18th century. They were first manufactured in Connecticut from tobacco leaves grown using Cuban tobacco seeds.
Connecticut had already been growing tobacco since the beginning of the 17th century. At that time, cigars were made at home by cigar rollers. The cigar soon became a status symbol for Americans after its popularity soared around 1860, during the Civil War.
The popularity of cigars can be judged by the fact that in European trains, smoking cars were made available for cigar smokers and after-dinner cigars became a tradition in European culture. Later, cigarettes or paper cigars were introduced, which were less expensive than cigars.
High-quality cigars are generally handmade and sold under reputed brands, usually the long-established family names of cigar manufacturers. Famous families in high-quality cigar manufacturing are Arturo Fuente, Carlos Torano, and Altadis.
At the beginning of the 20th century, around 1920, Cuban cigar manufacturers started making machine-made cigars that were cheap compared to handmade cigars.
US President John F. Kennedy embargoed Cuba in 1962. Of course, before imposing the embargo, he directed his press secretary to purchase every Cuban cigar he could locate. After storing around 1,200 of them, Kennedy imposed a trade ban.
Many new nations adopted Cuban cigars, and new brands such as Hoyo de Monterrey and Partagas rose to prominence. However, the sector struggled during the 1980s.
Exiled Cuban cigarmakers traveled far and wide in quest of new sites to grow and roll cigars. Dominican Republic, Nicaragua.
Cigarette smoking was down in the United States in the early 1990s, but cigar smoking was increasing. In mid-1991, the country emerged from a recession that had made some of the affluent even wealthier. They purchased cigars. Cigar Aficionado magazine debuted in 1992.
The standard today is higher. Boutique brands like Tatuaje are competing with top brands. Cigar rolling technology to test the cigar for a better draw and a wide range of tobacco blends and mixing from different countries brought a new era of cigars.
The most major and recent consumer shift happened in 2014 when President Barack Obama relaxed limits on Americans visiting Cuba and bringing back Cuban cigars. With restrictions, these cigars can now be purchased in countries other than Cuba and brought into the United States.
Cigars of Various Types
Cigars come in a variety of styles. The most frequent is the Parejo, which was most likely the first cigar form invented by the Mayans. It is a basic cylinder, identical to the form of current cigarettes.
Parejo cigars come in various sizes and shapes, including Toro, Corona, and Carlota. Some Parejo cigars, such as Churchill, Rothschild, and Lonsdale, were named after renowned persons who smoked in public and contributed to cigars’ popularity.
Figurado cigars were popular in the 1800s but are no longer as popular now.
Their uneven form distinguishes them, making them costly to construct and acquire. Indeed, for those fortunate enough to locate them for sale on the market, these cigars are collectors’ goods.
The Presidente, Torpedo, and Toscano are just a few of the many popular figurado cigars.
Little cigars appeared later. They are similar to current cigarettes but do not have a high tax like modern cigarettes. Little cigars, which are not typical, have grown in popularity in recent years.