The last edition of the Maremma Wine & Food Shire festival featured a session dedicated to the Tuscan cigar and its lovers, who enjoyed a combination of cigar, wine and spirits tastings.
The charm of the Tuscan cigar is mainly linked to its handcrafted production, its imperfections, its dark color and irregular shapes. It is also not as expensive as other cigars.
The origins of the Tuscan cigar go back to the end of the ‘700, when a sudden downpour in Florence dampened some casks full of Kentucky tobacco that was to be used for other purposes. Instead of being thrown away, the precious leaves were used differently to create a fermented cigar that had an immediate success.
What was created by chance began to be perfected by small artisan workshops, until larger factories appeared in Florence (the historic Sant’Orsola), Lucca, Massa Carrara and Cava dei Tirreni. The Kentucky tobacco did not grow well in dry areas of southern Italy such as Sicily and Apulia, but the cultivations responded greatly to Tuscany’s weather and soil, particularly around Arezzo and Siena.
Therefore, the tobacco you find in authentic Tuscan cigars is grown in Italian plantations, giving them their own unique flavor and aroma. Furthermore, cigars are rolled according to their natural shape: unlike the common cigars from the Caribbean, Tuscan ones do not undergo a molding procedure. After rolling, the cigars are flame-cured over fires fueled by oak and beech wood, which also determine their distinct taste and appearance.
Tuscan cigar types
(name – year of creation – aging):
Toscano – 1930 – 6 months
Toscanello – 1948 – 4 months
Extravecchio – 1953 – 9 months
Antico – 1973 – 12 months
Garibaldi – 1982 – 6 months
Originale – 1985 – 12 months
Antica riserva – 1992 – 12 months
Moro – 2000 – 12 months
Del Presidente – 2006 – 12 months
Source: Maremma Magazine