Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I just recalled something that I learned in my B&W photography class which I never would have imagined. Actually, I guess, I actually got something I previously heard, and possibly learned, verified.

So, what I verified is cigars are not supposed to be inhaled.

Huh? What? I thought all smokes were to be inhaled for their enjoyment. Apparently not!

How I came to this question for my professor is one Saturday I was playing tennis with the regular group of guys. My long-time friend was talking about someone he knew that would smoke cigars and "he'd inhaled!"

He said this like it was a new phenomenon. I, on the other hand, said, "So, what's the big deal?" He went on about how you are not supposed to inhale a cigar because it'll burn out your throat and lungs not to mention make you cough for hours while it's doing it.

I was like, "Really?" I just assumed that smoking something meant inhaling it. We aren't all like Bill Clinton. We smoke it and we want the total effects of it so we inhale it!

Armed with this question, "How do you 'smoke' a cigar," I saw my photography professor the following Monday for class. I waited to ask him because he's been smoking cigars for about forty-five years so I figured he was an "expert" on the cigar-smoking subject.

According to Prof. Photog, "A cigar is meant to be enjoyed by puffing on it and allowing the smoke to circle the pallet and then exit, often blown threw the nose. It IS not meant to be inhaled because, yeah, [said in a humorous tone] it will kill ya. The flavor is supposed to be savored like a wine or a prime cut of steak."

So, in retrospect, I can see this explanation as very valid because I've inhaled cigars, many of them, trying to enjoy the flavor and aroma but not getting anything but a generic tobacco taste and feel. I've tried many brands thinking it was the cheap versus the somewhat expensive or the different flavors where some were stronger than others. But never have I experience an actual flavor but once, mildly.

I haven't tested the theory since learning of this interesting knowledge but I am eager to try just for science's sake...and to put my own curiosity to rest.

What do you think? Do you have a theory on cigars? What is your recommended brand (keeping in mind that I'm middle-class and a $10 cigar is way out of my budget)? I've tried Swisher Sweets and a few other "7-11-type" brands and most of them I liked licking the paper more than I did smoking the cigar.

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