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Do you smoke CASED tobacco?

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monbla256

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The term "cased" gets thrown around in 'baccy discussions here with seeming abandon. "... I don't smoke blends that are cased", "...the casing was very much a sweet flavor..." etc, etc. From my family up in N. Carolina who grew and sold Virginia Brightleaf I always understood that ALL tobacco was cased !! So with all this yes/no cased statements I thought I'd check out what a well respected "expert" here had to say! Here's what Greg Pease has to say about this subject which i found over on Pipedia:

"Cased Tobacco?[edit]

Q: I keep hearing about "cased" tobacco. What does this mean?

G.L. Pease Answers: There are two things of interest here, namely "casing" and "top flavouring." They are two distinctly different approaches to altering a blend's flavor. Some tobaccos employ both.

Casing requires that the tobacco be sprayed with or soaked in a "sauce" that may contain sugar, molasses, liquorice, alcohols like rum or whiskey, and various flavourings, natural or otherwise, depending on the manufacturer. Once the tobacco "drinks" the sauce, it's conditioned in large cylinders that dry it back to the desired moisture level, generally between 12% (on the dry side) and 22% (very moist). Optimal moisture for smoking depends on the smoker, but it's generally in the 13-16% range. The aromas and flavours imparted by casing will remain in the tobacco pretty tenaciously, and will affect the smoke throughout the bowl.

Top-flavouring is added by spraying the finished blend with scents and flavourings. This is a much lighter application, and doesn't alter the moisture content of the leaf dramatically. Sometimes called "top-notes," this can be quite ephemeral. Because of the volatile nature of many of the commonly used components, a tobacco left to "air out" may lose a lot of the perfume that's applied this way.

Depending on the casing used, tobaccos can become very sticky. Some producers use humectants to maintain a specific moisture level in the final product. You'll hear people talk about PG, or propylene glycol, the most commonly used humectant these days. It's generally spoken of in rather disparaging terms, thought it's not the PG that deserves the condemnation, but the blending houses who use it with reckless abandon. If the tobacco won't dry out, PG is likely the culprit. In small quantities, it does its job well. In large quantities, it produces a sticky, wet smoking, pipe clogging weed that should never see the inside of a pipe.

Not all flavoured tobaccos are cased, and casing is not always a bad thing, but the term is used incorrectly more often than not, so a lot of confusion has been created.

Myths About Casing[edit]

I only smoke uncased tobaccos.

G.L. Pease Answers: In fact, very few tobaccos on the market today are not cased to some extent. Casing is the process of adding sugars and flavouring agents before the leaf is further processed. The raw leaf is soaked or sprayed with a heavy solution of sugars and flavourings like liquorice, vanilla, molasses, tonquin, and so on. The amount of sauce absorbed by the leaf depends on the method of application, the structure of the leaf, and the length of time the leaf is in contact with the sauce before further processing. The leaf is then processed as usual. It can be conditioned and cut, or pressed and held to allow further fermentation. It can be heated, steamed, toasted, or just allowed to “bulk” in the atmosphere.

Raw tobacco, especially burley, usually doesn't taste very good, and can have poor smoking characteristics. Very few smokers have ever experienced tobaccos that do not have SOME sort of casing applied. It's not the casing that turns smokers of “pure” tobacco off; it's the excessive use of flavourings. When used delicately, they can enhance the flavour of the tobacco itself. When used heavily, as in most American style aromatic tobaccos, they can overpower the underlying tobacco flavours.

Q: So, are your tobaccos cased?

A: Some of the leaf we use is cased by the primary processor according to our specifications. In some cases, we do additional casing before blending. So, the answer is yes. It's an important and necessary tool and sometimes a first-step in providing the best possible smoking experience, and that's what it's all about, right?

Q: I don't smoke flavoured tobaccos...

A: Again, almost all tobaccos sold are flavoured. Again, raw tobacco is not always the most pleasant thing to smoke, so it might need a little help. Flavourings can be applied with the casing, or after processing, in which case they are known as top-dressings. The difference is subtle, but important. Top dressings provide specific aromas in the tin, but tend to dissipate or flame off when the tobacco is smoked, or even just allowed to air out. The flavourings in the casing is deeper in the leaf, fully absorbed, and is therefore less ephemeral. As with so many things, the dose makes the poison. Just as a little salt can enhance a dish without making it salty, the right amount of flavouring can enhance the taste of the tobacco without overpowering it.

Q: So, you do use flavourings?

A: Of course. In addition to subtle flavouring agents in the casing sauces, we do, in some cases, add a top dressing as well. We use natural products. Some of the blends are topped with rum, brandy or whisky. Others have additional natural flavours added. If you're asking the question, we must be doing it right. "

From the G.L.Pease FAQ, and used by permission

I figure this ought to end this discussion !! :twisted:  :twisted:  :twisted:
 

Kyle Weiss

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I've smoked uncased, raw tobacco, grown from the efforts and soils of a particular dude here.

It's pretty flat, uninteresting, yet with something there that obviously needed more.

Eating a mouthful of raw flour vs adding some stuff and high temperatures to make delicious bread.

"Purity" is often a lie. And so is the cake.

https://2img.net/h/fc06.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2011/092/f/5/the_cake_is_a_lie_by_domaacz-d3d0ftk.jpg" style="width: 400px;height: 300px

8)
 

MichaelM

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Semois is uncased. Most pipe tobacco is cased, some is cased poorly. Smoke what you like.
Mike.
 

smg913

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ohhhh noo Kyle you have done it. I must go and play both portals back to back for hours on end now.


Thank You :lol!:
 

RDPipes

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Do you smoke CASED tobacco?
Yeah, sometimes but, sometimes in comes in bags too.
 

monbla256

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Cartaphilus":qa1cueev said:
Do you smoke CASED tobacco?
Yeah, sometimes but, sometimes in comes in bags too.
So you've found a source for bulk Eschudo ? :twisted: :twisted:
 

mark

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Kyle Weiss":l8rarjrp said:
I've smoked uncased, raw tobacco, grown from the efforts and soils of a particular dude here.
Dude? :fpalm:


Dude - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster ...

Full Definition of DUDE 1 : a man extremely fastidious in dress and manner : dandy 2 : a city dweller unfamiliar with life on the range; especially : an Easterner in the West
 

Kyle Weiss

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mark":dy027oea said:
Full Definition of DUDE 1 : a man extremely fastidious in dress and manner : dandy (...could be, I don't judge... :snerk:...)2 : a city dweller unfamiliar with life on the range; especially : an Easterner in the West (...location, location, location...)  :lol:  
My apologies.  I was merely being ambiguous about origins of trades/gifts/etc...some folks really rather be anonymous about things!   :polite:  

8)
 

Kyle Weiss

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smg913":xlgblah8 said:
ohhhh noo Kyle you have done it. I must go and play both portals back to back for hours on end now.


Thank You :lol!:
See? And what kind of uncased tobacco are you gonna find there? :lol:
 

mark

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Cased tobacco, topped tobacco, bug infested tobacco (do you really think all those insect eggs are removed?), raw tobacco, organic tobacco,,,it's all toxic and tasty.


EFF you Kyle ,, :D
 

Retrogasm

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It's my understanding that casing isn't necessarily a flavour issue. For instance, MacBaren flakes have a maple syrup/sugar water casing in order to keep the flakes (specifically the Latakia flake) together. If MacBaren can't keep the flake shape without a little help from a casing, then I suspect the same is true for the industry as a whole.
 

Kyle Weiss

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Hell no, I don't mind, bring on the bug eggs! :cheers: "Caviar for pipes." :mrgreen:

I thought about this very subject upon waking this morning, and I'll leave it for consideration:

Tobacco has been, among other things, smoked, flavored, soaked in alcohol, sugared and fermented.

Does this sound familiar in another area? It does to me: food.

While the eating of tobacco is likely the realm of country-folk who don't mind tongue-cleaning out their lip/cheek of chaw and downing the spent leaf with a proud esophageal gulp, tobacco is a biological plant material. We as pipesters just happen to enjoy it purposefully burnt to a crisp and concentrating the byproducts in the form of smoke as chemical and flavor enjoyment.

This may have been talked about before by Pease and elsewhere, but I would imagine today's treatments are based on the related connections between food and tobacco: chemically, structurally, even purposefully, with certain properties and desired results. All organic, especially plant-based material eventually breaks down and rots, and is even improved (in flavor) when preserved via controlled environments practices and techniques.

I wouldn't be surprised if nearly all the casing, saucing, adding liquor, smoking ala Latakia, pressing, fermenting, and aging that we know today has direct roots early on, like food, as being a way to keep things stable, transport-worthy, salable and overall usable. The fact we have learned to enjoy even more the addition of these ingredients and/or practices benefits us. It likely took a lot of years, experimentation and trial-and-error (probably even ides taken from food preservation/protection directly) to get the stuff we smoke today.

One of the ways this idea made itself known to me was another batch of "raw" tobacco I received, not from just a "dude," but Mark. :lol: I kept the leaf in the same conditions, in the same kind of container, the same basic moisture level--within a week or two, it turned a lovely shade of jade and fuzzy black. I figure this happened to more than one grower, shipper, or producer hundreds of years ago, too. Something had to change tobacco's natural breaking-down process, and the already-known methods, available easily and readily today as well as back-then, were implemented. Some probably worked better than others. Whatever ideas/practices survived over time became refined today's "method." With the second batch of raw leaf I received, my only option at hand was probably the oldest and easiest method of food preservation: I fully dried it. I now take small batches and re-hydrate them before having a smoke.

Tasty thoughts, no?

Granted, there's always bad food to pair with bad tobacco... botched sauerkraut is downright gross, sugar can be a simple moisture-barrier or it can be an overused cloying mess, and there's such a thing as "oversmoked" fish or brisket--and aged meat that is on its way to being compost.

All an educated theory, but a pretty plausible one to me. Plain, organic material has been altered in myriad ways for a long time for our consumption--because it tastes good and lasts longer.

8)
 

SpeedyPete

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I used to smoke Holland House Aromatic when I was a kid because the girls likes the smell of it.

Also made use of Rum & Maple for the same reason.

Today I smoke Va's and VaPers because it's naturally sweet and tasty.

I think I've found the burley with which I'm going to spend the rest of my life.. I had a sample of The Mellow Monk which was really so tasty that I've ordered 16oz the moment I've finished my first bowl! Should be here next week.

Other burleys I've smoked all turned bitter on me, halfway down the bowl. It made me feel nutty.

I prefer tobacco which tastes like tobacco.
 
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