January 24, 2022

Balkan – Turkish Tobaccos Making A Comeback

With a lengthy history that is second to few other products, the growth, spread and use of tobacco throughout the world has been a major factor in trade since its first being observed by Europeans in the Americas. As was the case among the native tribes, the tobacco plant was soon used in a broad range of applications from patent medicines that claimed miraculous cures for virtually any ailment to the more familiar methods of ingestion including chewing, inhalation as snuff and in smoking. Both in Europe and America the methods of
taking tobacco that were reserved for society’s aristocrats quickly became often a source of ridicule. Even then, many thought tobacco, like the potato, to be the work of the devil.

However used, the earlier tobaccos all sprang from American stock. Initially, there was one variety that was grown by the North American Indians that was the first to be transported to England and Portugal and another that was grown by those from Mexico to South America that was taken to Spain and France. Later, John Rolfe used the second variety from the seed juul pods dubai obtained from the larger leaved “Spanish” variety to serve as the foundation for Virginia tobacco growing.

Since that time the spread of tobacco’s influence and ease of propagation drove the development of many varieties around the world, each suited to unique climates and the local preferences for curing, processing and ingestion. As tobacco crossed the Atlantic from the Americas and was popularized in Spain, England and France, its spread reached to Germany, Russia and then the Baltic countries as each region and nationality introduced their own preferences as well as requirements for cultivation such as those driven by the climate, the local soil characteristics and terrain.

Today, most tobaccos may be categorized as either Virginia, Burley, or Turkish, but all have roots tracing back to the original Nicoteana Tabacam of Mexico and South America. In fact, the world’s most popular tobacco which is generally known as Virginia Bright Leaf was the result of an accident in curing during 1839 White Burley of today didn’t arrive on the scene until 1864.

While tobacco was introduced into Turkey and Poland around 1585, its use was sufficient to result in torture and execution throughout Russia, Turkey, Persia, India and the east. Though cigarettes were making themselves known in Europe by 1915, it was not until the Crimean War in 1856 that Turkish, English, French and Italian soldiers took the popular Turkish tobacco cigarettes home with them.

In truth, the name “Turkish” tobacco is something of a misnomer as many of the seed stocks of Turkish Tobacco actually originated in towns in Greece. However, the name was popularized as referring to those countries that were within the Ottoman Turkish empire, many of which were long a part of the Soviet Union. Today, much of the region is referred to as Balkan.

By any name, Turkish tobaccos have long been regarded as among the world’s finest, adding a richness, spice, and smoothness that, when properly blended, transports a great Virginia into a blend in the realm of the sublime. Sadly, the great Turkish/Balkan tobaccos had virtually disappeared in the western world, leaving mediocre, lesser grades and varieties that for decades left smokers associating Turkish blends with tobaccos that were hot, heavy, harsh, pungent and loaded with nicotine, all attributes of an inferior product.

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