The history of the Cuban cigar dates back to the days of Christopher Columbus, and his first voyage to the New World, when on October 28, 1492, near the present town of Baracoa (or possibly as some scholars have suggested, near Nuevitas), he found "many people who were going to their villages, women and men, with a firebrand in the hand and herbs to drink the smoke thereof" .
The mystique and appeal of Cuban cigars started shortly thereafter when Columbus huffed back to Spain offering up his new found vice to Queen Isabella's court and her friends. It has been suggested that cigar bands were added so that women smokers would not soil their fingers.
The practice of smoking cigars soon went to Portugal where the French Ambassador, Jean Nicot, took it up, before introducing it into France.
The narcotic in the tobacco came to be known as "Nicot-ine", and the world- wide interest that followed came to be known as smoking pleasure.
Hundreds of years and many tobacco leafs later Cuban cigars (known as Habanos) are considered by many cigar aficianados to be the finest smokes in the world. Appealing to all of the senses this alluring product offers a complete experience for the novice and knowledgeable alike.
If you enjoy cigars the names and brands flow interchangeably: Cohiba, Corona, Churchill, Sancho Panza, Robaina, Hoyo de Monterrey, Romeo y Julietta, Partagas, Punch, Bolivar, and Monte Cristo to name but a few.
Today dozens of brand names are available, if not directly from Cuba, then at least through the internet, and at reasonable prices.
But let's not forget the other reasonable smokes that often compete with, and win out over Cuban cigars at blind tastings. And those fine smokes may be purchased off the internet too.
When purchasing off the internet, or off the street, caveat emptor, for if the deal sounds too good to be true it probably is.
And remember this too, smuggling Cuban cigars into the United States is illegal and punishable as a federal offense, unless you have a Specific License issued by the U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), at which point you may declare $100 worth of cigars in value, with a proper receipt as proof of purchase or value.
It's much easier buying from a reputable dealer such as:Best Priced Cubans
A few good books on the subject of cigars include:
The Ultimate Cigar Book by Richard C. Hacker
The Complete Idiots Guide to Cigars by T. Gage and A. Boxman
Cigars, Whiskey & Women by Al Kaltman
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