Diverse Tobacco Types

Published on January 21st, 2013 00:00

Tobacco is generally produced for its leaves. In order to guarantee a considerably better growth of the leaves, the flowers are usually cut. This procedure is called topping, it brings to the increase of apical dominance and deals with the development of axial suckers.

Depending upon the range, tobacco is gathered frequently in leaves or in stalks. The latter implies removing the leaves from the stem. Afterward harvesting the tobacco is cured. In the course of curing, tobacco leaves go through a series of bio-chemical changes and dehydration. The stage of curing is notable in acquiring an ultimate product, corresponding with requirements both on its coloring and its biochemical structure.

Based upon the technique of curing, in parallel with the biological distinction of the varieties, tobacco is traditionally categorized in five sorts:

  • Flue-cured tobaccos: these tobaccos are cured in particular bulks, where the warmed air is pushed through the leaves due to a ventilation system. Just after the destruction of chlorophyll, some other biochemical changes are quickly ceased by the enhancement of temperature in the bulk. Due to the so quick curing interval (about one week), tobacco leaves change their green color to a bright yellow but, the ingredients in sugar remains excessive. Virginia is the main variety in the category of flue-cured tobaccos. Resulting from its sweet flavor, Virginia is the main component of "English blends" and is also included in the formula of "American blends".
  • Dark air-cured tobaccos: as their name shows, these tobaccos are dried in the natural way in buildings where the air can openly circulate. The drying time period can last from 1 month and a half to approximately 2 months. In the course of this interval, both the chlorophyll and the sugars are reduced. The final coloring is dark brown. The dark tobaccos are basically used in cigars and in diverse "French blends".
  • Light air-cured tobaccos: these tobaccos are cured in the same way as dark air-cured. The distinction resides on their final coloring, due to the variety cultivated. Burley is the principal type listed in this category. Due to its standard flavor, Burley is the foundation of "American blends".
  • Fire-cured tobaccos: these tobaccos are cured in barns, where small fires of aromatic woods are burning. The subjection to the smoke offers them a particular flavor, very useful for pipe combinations, snuff or chewing tobaccos.
  • Sun-cured tobaccos: the leaves are initially cured in the sun before being air-cured. The most popular of all sun-cured tobaccos are the oriental ones, harvested mostly in Greece and Turkey. These tobaccos are used in small amount in the composition of both "American blends" and "French blends". The "Oriental blends" are entirely made up of them.

By Kevin Lawson, Staff Writer.
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