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Monday, May 23, 2005
I have noticed some queries coming in from the search engines about the history of culebra that come into the glossary page. The glossary page does not give anything more than a brief description of the cigar, so I am going to write a supplemental entry about these interesting cigars.
Simply speaking it is 3 extra-long pantaletas braided together, and intended to be smoked separately. The cigar is created by moistening all parts of the tobacco to a very high level (80%) so that it can be molded easily. There is a greater chance of draw issues in culebras based on their construction.
The average torcidor is not trained to make the culebra, although there are a few brands that have a line (like Partagas and Davidoff I believe) that can be found regularly. Generally, you need to get them from a tobacco artisan.
Historically speaking, the culebra (which means snake in Spanish) is a unique cigar that that has been around since early 1800s. There are two stories I have heard as to their origin:
- factory owners would give the culebra‚??s to their workers in an attempt to assure that the workers were not smoking the profits.
- much less fanciful, and probably more likely, it was pure marketing- an attempt by a factory to develop a new line by a business man (not a roller)