Ok, so if you read my Bánh mì post you may have seen a few notes about not being a food snob. It was pointed out to me last week that instead of a snob i may just be informed and a little picky at times. Yep let’s go with that.
I’m afraid i’m the same way with cigars, I love the big names ( Cohiba, Partagas and Trinidad) i.e the holy trinity of Cuban cigars but I also love smaller producers and non Cuban cigars. In fact i would prefer to smoke something from a smaller producer. Craft beer anyone?
Fortunately for me, my partner has a steady stream of work colleagues from the US visiting and one of them, a self confessed instagram stalker brought me some treats of the Cuban kind when she visited Melbourne this week.
By treats, i mean treats. I had never heard of these (cue visit to Cuba please), peso cigars. Quite literally the working mans cigar, handmade, largely unregulated and unavailable for sale outside of Cuba, let alone to tourists in Cuba itself.
Andrea went on to explain to me that these were the cigars smoked by everyday Cubans and there were a plethora (man i hate that word) or varieties and given that they are hand made, each one would be a little different. They are typically hand sealed as well, using honey or beeswax.
From what I’ve read peso cigars will vary in quality, strength, composition and size depending on where and who you buy the from. All I know is i’m a sucker for cultural authenticity.
I lit up one of these babies this morning with my coffee and my first thoughts were “Wow this baby is irregular”, handmade they aren’t perfectly straight or a uniform gauge. This one was closer to a lancero size. These are quite literally rolled by hand (as opposed to “handmade). The first part of the cigar i’ll be honest had some issue with burn and the smoke was pretty thin. Flavourwise it was a wonderful whole flavour with hints of spice and leather but to my surprise quite mild.
Where i found this cigar to come in to it’s own was the last half, the burn began to become more regular and the smoke was dense and even. The flavour was really enjoyable and i felt like i was smoking something genuine and real.
Peso cigars aren’t perfect, i mean i’ve smoked better cigars. But these area real, so rustic and imperfect. I love this. I love things that it’s a proper handmade cigar and what real Cubans smoke. If i can think of something similar it would be a nanna making a meatloaf using a family recipe, it’s not going to be overly pretty, it may not match a modern palate but it’s still going to taste great. Yes nostalgia and history taste good.