No, for those who don't know, I am talking about nasal snuff, the finely ground tobacco you sniff, not the dip tobacco. Snuff has a long history here in the UK, but that is for another article. What I started thinking about was the nightmare I just had, then it hit me, a bit like the nicotine from the snuff I had taken. There are a wide range of other smokelss products out there and available in the EU that can be used and are, as good as or come close to, snus.
This will be the first of a series of articles on what there is out there, for those times when you have run out of, or cannot get, snus.
I wanted to start with something that I have used personally for years, Oliver Twist chewing tobacco bits. These are tiny pieces of twist tobacco that are flavored with liquorice and an assortment of flavours.
They are from Denmark, Odense to be precise, the same place the tennis player, Caroline Wozniacki is from. They were established in 1805 and have been producing the chewing tobacco bit in pretty much the same way ever since.
Obviously there have been a few changes due to the advances in technology, but each piece is still hand made by a loyal staff, generations of the same families have worked at The House of Oliver Twist which ust means it's a pretty good place to work.
When I first heard about these little bad boys the liquorice part put me off, as, traditionally, I am not a huge fan. My experience of licorice is aniseed, nasty, vile, horrible, aniseed! The licorice (or lakrits) used in these, and in snus, is actually licorice root, the roots of the (no surprises) liquorice plant, and they are naturally sweet.
I could actually get into the science of why but I will keep it simple. The plant keeps sugar in its roots to help it grow, which is why the root tastes sweet.
Now, way back when, some enterprising person decided to eat it and add it into food, and then tobacco, presumably to counter the sometimes often very bitter taste of some types of tobacco, much like adding sugar to coffee. T
oday we have licorice root extract in plenty of everyday things, not just tobacco products but medicines, drinks, food, the list goes on.
What is so great about these chewing bits I hear you ask? Well, for a start, you don't actually chew them, yes, it is chewing tobacco, but not like Redman or Levi Garret, you can lightly knaw them to get more flavour out, but you don't need to.
Each bit (which is about 1/3 inch in length) contains about 5-6mg of nicotine, the same as a mini portion of snus, they are the most discreet form of oral tobacco you can use, the flavour lasts forever! I hae had one in for 4 hours and it was still giving flavour, muted, but still giving it out!
Oliver Twist comes in original, tropical, royal, arctic, eucalyptus, sunberry, black and passion flavours. Original is just flavoured with licorice, that sweet, amazing liquorice root flavour I mentioned before; that is their base flavour, along with the smoky tobacco tatse. Tropical has the addition of anise, royal, British black licorice (think Pontefract Cakes), actric is mint, eucalyptus is self explanatory, sunberry is blackcurrant, black is salmiak licorice and passion is peach flavoured, all flavourings are natural.
My personal favorites are original, black and passion, passion is only sold in Denmark and Sunberry in Germany and Denmark. Whenever I am in either country I always stock up, but my go to is the original and black flavours.
The black is almost snus-like in its taste as a lot of extra stark snus have salmiak and lakrits as flavours, but, it isn't as salty as a salmiak sweet.
What each variety of Oliver Twist has is a wonderful smokey tobacco taste, almost like a good perique pipe tobacco, the flavour hits you first with the smokiness, then the flavour of the variety you are using, then sweet licourice. The same order that an extra star snus works, particularly General Extra Strong portion. I could write an article on the passion alone it is that good, the peach flavour is like biting into a real peach!
The beauty of these little pieces of tobacco nirvana is that hey are flavoured like all Scandinavian tobacco products, the added flavours are subtle, they complement the tobacco flavour and still allow the tobacco to shine, but, they are sweet, not too sweet, but sweet.
The only one I don't like is the tropical as I don't like anise, but even with that, it isn't over powering.
These are widely available all over Europe, my local tobacconist sells them, they are available online, they are available worldwide. From what I know, you can buy a wintergreen flavour in the United States.
I love these, if I couldn't use snus I could quite happily use these, if I forget my snus, I reach straight for these. I highly recommend you pick up a packet of these little twists of happiness if you want to expand you tobacco journey.
A word of warning for those chasing the vitamin N dragon, don't, it's lame, you're really boring but also, it gets really expensive (the words of a former vitamin N dragon chaser!). What i'm trying to say is, if you're wanting to come down from uber strength snus, Oliver Twists are a very good way to do it.
I hope you enjoyed this first piece, there are more on the way where I will talk about snuff, twist tobacco, makla and anything else I can find that is smokeless and sold in the EU.
Snus from a British Perspective
Reporting from the UK for SnusCENTRAL.org