HISTORY OF TOBACCO IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC


 

After more than 500 years since Europeans first learned about Tobacco in America, the Dominican Republic is proud to produce one of the best and healthiest cigars in the world. Dominican tobacco and its by-products occupy a preponderant place for its unquestionable quality that has given it great international recognition from nations and consumers, a fact that is a pride for our nation.

Plant experts have determined that the center of tobacco origin is located in the Andean zone between Peru and Ecuador. The first crops must have taken place between five thousand and three thousand years a.C. When America was colonized, consumption was widespread throughout the continent. Smoking (inhaling and exhaling tobacco smoke) was one of the many varieties of consumption in South America. In addition to smoking, snuff was sucked through the nose, chewed, eaten, drank, smeared on the body, used in drops in the eyes and used in enemas. It was used in rituals like blowing it on the face of warriors before the fight, it spread out in fields before planting, it was offered to the gods, it was spilled on women before a sexual relationship, and both men and women used it as a narcotic .

The tobacco was known by the Europeans in 1492 on the occasion of the arrival of Christopher Columbus and his expedition. Rodrigo de Jerez and Luis de la Torre, companions of Christopher Columbus, were the first Europeans to know their existence. Rodrigo, on his return to Spain, was imprisoned by the Inquisition accused of witchcraft, since only the devil could give a man the power to smoke through his mouth.

By order of Felipe II, Hernández de Boncalo, chronicler and historian of the Indies, was the one who brought the first seeds of tobacco that arrived in Europe in 1559. These seeds were planted on lands around Toledo, in an area called Los Cigarrales because They used to be invaded by cicada pests. There began the cultivation of tobacco in Europe and, for this reason, some historians argue that the name of the cigar comes from this circumstance.

Its extension by the European continent was thanks to the French ambassador in Portugal Jean Nicot (1530-1600), in his honor Linnaeus introduces the denomination "Nicotiana" in its classification of Botany. This introduced it in its aspirated form (snuff) and popularized it, supposedly, "cure" Catherine de 'Medici (wife of Henry II) of migraines, so it was called Queen's herb, Catalinaria Nuduca and herb of the ambassador.

By 1531, the spaniards planted tobacco on the island for commercial purposes; in fact it is the first place in the world where it begins, highlighting that the aborigines used the product as currency.

By the end of the 1960s, the main factories of foreign brands in the country were established, all this brought new technologies and knowledge for the manufacture of cigars, and looking back, it is fair and timely to point out, that the entrance of all those factories He made "wake up" the national tobacco industry, since they visualized the potential of the quality of the Dominican cigar in foreign markets and the creation of a market in the country.

As for the export of cigars, the Dominican Republic was not a major exporter in 1966. It is with the triumph of the Cuban revolution and the establishment of Cuba's communist regime, that the most important cigar brands were established in 1970, and With this they create a new mystique in their production, with new mixtures of foreign tobaccos, layers and capes and a rigorous quality control. As well as, a variety of vitolas and the establishment of a new concept in the marketing of fine cigars.

The most impressive thing that can be shown is that if we take into account that by the 70s our country almost did not export any tobacco and that, by the year 1994, that is, only twenty-four years later, the Dominican Republic was converting in the world's largest exporter of handmade cigars: (90) ninety million units compared to (55) fifty-five million in Cuba. For 2009, we export around 350 million units, by far the largest producer of tobacco in the world.

Our country planted tobacco 50 years before Cuba did. However, we can not deny that until a few years ago Cuba had been ahead in the making of cigars by hand. In fact, we owe much of our success to the introduction of its "Piloto Cubano" tobacco seed in 1962 and with this produce its leaves with the same Cuban quality, at a historic moment that Cuba was asking for participation in the international market and especially the North American.

Taking advantage of the introduction of the Piloto Cubano variety in the country and its beginning of export in the North American market from the Dominican Republic, it contributed to give life and knowledge to Dominican Odor tobacco, because the manufacturers discovered the great capacity of league of these tobaccos, the harmony and complementation that exists between its flavors, aromas and combustion. It was in this way that important international firms such as the General Cigar Company came to be established in the country, making it one of the best producers and exporters of cigars of the highest quality in the world.

The consumption of tobacco is intimately linked to the image of the product, which is created, sustained and reinforced by its advertising in its many forms. This must be added that among the particulars of this crop is to synthesize nicotine, an alkaloid that when burning leaves is released as smoke, which when inhaled provides a pleasant and pleasant sensation for the smoker.

Today, tobacco is not just a country or region, the master blenders of the different brands of cigars look for tobacco leaves from all over the world to achieve the finest combination of flavors and pleasures, the main reason we can find the best Differences between words Cigar and Pure.

Currently said consumption is going through a very good moment, an event that has largely been due to the impressive advertising campaigns carried out by the sector's own magazines. In the same way in the market there are specialized magazines that contain articles on tobacco production in the market; comments and recommendations on cigarettes, which give them scores as a value to determine the level of smoking.

To this is added a constellation of people of category, class and good taste, who have made cigar smoking a pleasure that produces satisfaction to taste, but also inspires respect and admiration towards the consumer.

So, sit in your best chair, light a good Dominican cigar, accompanied by your favorite drink, and enjoy all the years of history and quality that places us as one of the countries that produces the best tobacco in the world. And it is that nothing can be truer than to taste a good cigar is "more than a pleasure, a way of life".