Sunday, August 17, 2014

Words You Should Know #1: Esteli; Or: Mommy, Where do cigars come from?

You see the word on your La Gloria Cubana or Drew Estate cigar.
You hear people drop-kick it into a conversation, for no reason other than they heard someone else say it.*
Maybe during the recent soccer hullaballoo, you heard the city name in passing.**
See Esteli right there? Below the middle? [source]
Welcome to the third-largest city in Nicaragua. Officially known as Villa de San Antonio de Pavia de Esteli, "The land around Esteli is perfect for growing tobacco for use in cigars, and the town became a refuge for Cuban cigar makers after the Cuban Revolution in 1959. Award-winning cigars have made Esteli one of the most important cigar-producing cities in the world." [source]

Wait, what? That's a good picture but you don't know where to put Nicaragua in context? You mean like the person who asked the other day if it is in Europe?***

Hello, Central America! [source]

According to Cigar Cabana, "The Esteli region has black and fertile soil and produces a heavy, full-flavored tobacco leaf. It is characteristically dark, and rich with full aromas, body, and flavor. Esteli is known for producing the most powerful of all Nicaraguan tobacco." As such, this is where the majority of Nicaraguan cigars are created.

Read more about the rich and varied history of Nicaragua and its cigars! Be amazed at how many times the industry has been kicked in the face by conflict (Looking at you, Sandinista government and Contras.) and nature (You too, Hurricane Mitch).

I'll fully admit that I'm no geographical wiz-kid and have a limited view of the universe because I stay fully ensconced in Penny World, which is wall-papered with rainbows and unicorns and sparkles. I will also admit that sometimes a trip across the border into the real world can be pretty darned interesting.

I'm not saying you have to go to Nicaragua (although we're thinking about a jaunt there next year--shocking, I know!), but just take a look into one of the places where your cigars may be coming from. It's actually pretty interesting.****
*This actually happened recently. We're still shaking our heads because it didn't even fit into the conversation's context. Luckily, my mom reared me to be polite, so I didn't say...
"What you talkin' 'bout, fool?" [source]

**Don't worry: We wouldn't have looked it up either, We don't generally hop on bandwagons.
This bandwagon looks kind of fun, though. [source]

***Europe was all, like, "Whaaaaa?"

****And me saying that something in the outside world is interesting enough to catch and hold my attention means it has got to be good!

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