Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Call of the Wild (Wild West), Part the First

During IPCPR, the news started rolling out of the desert* about new and amazing (for the most part) smokes, stogies, tobacco tubes, whatever you want to call them, rustling up my interest somethin' fierce.

Let's talk about cowboys for a moment, shall we? When I was a kid, some of the best days were the ones I spent with my dad watching westerns on TV all Saturday afternoon. Rifleman! Alias Smith and Jones! BonanzaThe Big Valley!  Oh, there was fun! Adventure! Community! All the things I love (except cupcakes; there were never any cupcakes)! Plus lots of dirt, of which I am not a fan, but will certainly overlook for fun and adventure.**

Hello, boys! [source]

In decorating, I love the rusticness (rusticocity?) of the Old West, which does not jibe with Valentino's modern sensibilities. He does not love my four-poster bed and antique quilt. His fondness for found art is somewhere around his love for crying babies. (Nil.) The closest he's getting to swinging saloon doors is another viewing of Django Unchained.

Me: Yay!  Him: No! [source]

One day recently, I was accidentally on the CI website, accidentally looking for birthday gift ideas for Valentino. And I saw this:

CAO Brazilia Amazon Basin

My heart leapt. You can see the little bit of barbed-wiriness on that band, right? The band made out of tobacco leaf? The moment I saw it, a montage of happy Old West thoughts flashed through my brain***

It wasn't available for ordering yet, so I held my horses. And then! Then! We were at the St. Anthony's Feast in Boston the other day, visiting with our friends at Rolling Stogies

(Hi Mike! Hi Joe! Hi Kevin!!) [source]

...and guess what they had!!! The CAO Brazilia Amazon Basin! Zomygah, you guys!! It was even better (visually) than I suspected! Who turned the Cool Factor up to 11?

Granted, these aren't actually from the Old West (bad humidity and all) but instead from...well... Read this:

"The special sauce used to create Amazon Basin is a tobacco called 'Braganca,'**** a rare tobacco harvested from a remote region in the Amazonian rainforest. It’s really crazy, actually. Everything from its taste to the way it’s cultivated. Grown in a virgin, tropical land in the rainforest and harvested only once every 3 years, Braganca may be one of the most elusive tobaccos in the world.

"After the tobacco is harvested, it’s rolled by hand into tubes and fermented for 6 months. Then, it must be transported by canoe back to the mainland. Wild in every sense. To create CAO Amazon Basin, this Braganca tobacco was blended with tobaccos from 5 different countries and finished with a dark, Ecuadorian Sumatra ligero wrapper. But despite the breadth of tobaccos contained within, you can still taste and smell the unique Amazonian tobacco almost instantly. An exotic, distinctive taste that’s bold and very unique…unlike anything you’ve ever had before. 

"Additionally, each cigar is finished with a rustic, 100% twisted tobacco ‘band’ that adds another unique touch." <--shhh. That might be my favorite part!!

We bought three--one for Valentino, one for Caballero #2, and one for the humidor (which makes it sound like its a monster that needs to be fed--which I guess it kind of is.)

The Two Caballeros!! With their loot!
As we wandered around the festival some more, chatting about our exploits the next day (party!) we realized it would only be right to give the host one also.  Nothing for the humidor. (Shhh. I'm writing this from an undisclosed location so it doesn't know.)

This is why if I lived in the Old West, I would need the internet. As Valentino purchased ceci and fava beans from our favorite ceci dealer***** (Whatever, dude), I went onto the CI website and bought a five-pack. I know!! While surrounded by carnie games ready to shuck you and fresh oysters just waiting to be shucked! (Again, whatever, dude.)

On the ride home, our love grew deeper****** and upon arrival of Casa Fun, we moseyed for the online mercantile and lassoed a whole box.

Maybe we could send Valentino out to check the fences and do a little redecorating while we wait...

*Yes, like tumble weeds.

**I would love to live in the Old West if there were a few changes, including indoor plumbing, online shopping, and air conditioning.

***Including the Brady Bunch episode. What can I say? I'm a child of the 70s.


****Anyone else reading this as "Brangelina"? No? Just us?

*****I'm not sure if it's good or bad that he remembers us from year to year.

******Keep in mind, not one had been lit yet.

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