Hello ladies and gents. It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a column here at SC, but we’ve been busy as sin trying to get the new issue of the Ephemeris up and running. I’m putting the finishing touches on it now, but I wanted to take a few minutes to comment on some of the new snus that has come out since my last column. I know that I normally don’t do reviews or anything, but I just had to get some of this off my chest.
First: the good. Jägarpris from AG Snus is the first new snus since Lucky Strike Bold to really make me excited. The portions are super comfortable, ultra-wet and have a cool pseudo-threaded design at the seam. The container is really comfortable sitting in your back pocket and the label is simple and classy.
The flavor of Jägarpris may be a touchy subject for some of you. I’m one of the three guys in the world that liked Level snus, which was sadly discontinued some time back. Level has a bad rep on most of the snus forums, but I could never understand why. It was reminiscent of General’s traditional bergamot, salt and citrus flavor, but the citrus was tweaked just a tiny bit and the salt & pepper spiciness was way more in-your-face than General. It never got bitter on me, even if I had it in for an hour. Best of all, Level was 2.49 a can when most name brand snus was 3.39 a tin. About the only thing I didn’t like about Level was that it didn’t feature a catch lid, which really didn’t matter much to me anyway.
As some of you may have heard, Mick and I have entered the publishing business with The Snuff Taker's Ephemeris; a bi-monthly periodical devoted to all things snus and snuff. I wanted to share with SnusCENTRAL one of the many roads that lead me to want to do a book on tobacco. It would be a crime to omit the name of Tom Dunn from the story. This essay is dedicated to the memory of Tom Dunn, 1938-2005. Most people remember Tom as the founder and publisher of The Pipe Smoker's Ephemeris, which he put out regularly from 1965 until his death of stomach cancer in 2005. TPSE, as it was more commonly known by its readers, was the single best tobacco-related periodical ever concocted. Tom never made much off of his magazine (in fact, he probably didn't even break even), so TPSE was a true labor of love in every sense of the word.
On the fifteenth of May, in the County of Cook,Swimming in the green pool of money he took,He was splashing…concocting more ploys …When Barack Obama heard a small noise.
With all the recent legislation that aims to prohibit the use of tobacco among adult consumers, we often forget about the people caught in the middle: the tobacco farmer. The American tobacco farmer is the first link in the chain that stretches from the planted seed to the hand-delivered package that arrives on our doorsteps or the sealed container that we buy at the convenience store.
While the tobacco companies and the anti-tobacco coalitions make money hand over fist regardless of outside circumstances, the farmer is only as good as his crop. His laurels rest on what he can produce today, and what he can produce tomorrow. A little over a hundred years ago, a literal war was fought in the tobacco growing hills of southwestern Kentucky and northern Tennessee, an area known as the "Black Patch". All sides that participated have been viewed equally as heroes or villains, depending on who is telling the tale. I set out with this article to be as objective as possible, and to paint the events as they happened.
The ramifications of the war are still resonant today, but many people are unaware of this curious (and disturbing) chapter in American history. Let's look back at what became known as the Black Patch War of 1906.
The movement could best be summarized by one word: "rebellion". The people questioned, and subsequently rejected, the authority of their kings and governments. The "rationalists" (as they were known) pondered the authority of the Church in presiding over God's laws. Science was elevated into something beyond the blasphemous alchemy that it was viewed as previously. Philosophy was seen as something important and potentially dangerous, and not just as something that homosexual poets wrote to impress one another. The poor rebelled against the rich ruling class, and the "bourgeois" were put to death in violent, public coups.
QUESTION: what do Red Seal American Snuff and Röda Lacket Swedish Snus have in common? ANSWER: At one time, they were one and the same!
To kick off my new column, I wanted to take a look over the course of the next couple of articles at the long history of snus in America. That's right- snus in America. You may be surprised to learn that snus has been here almost as long as it has been in Sweden, and it didn't just pop up overnight when RJR dropped the Camel SNUS bomb. The Swedes have been immigrating here, off and on, steadily for the last two hundred years, and they've always brought their snus with them.
Let's flash back a bit to my last article, American Moist Snuff versus Swedish Snus. In it, I outlined the difference between snus and dip, with a focus on Copenhagen and Ettan, which were both introduced in 1822. If you'll recall, Copenhagen was the first "dipping" tobacco manufactured in this country. It was derived from an old Scandinavian snus recipe. Unlike American dry snuff, the moisture content was pretty high in Copenhagen. The Swedes preferred their snuff "wet" since they wadded it up and put it under their lip.
There exists the misconception within the United States that American Moist Snuff/Dip is little different than Swedish Snus except you don't have to spit with Swedish snus. I decided to delve into the history of dip and snus to find the true differences.
I'm working through an excellent history of snus right now written by Janne Sundling. It is in Swedish, and I am constantly pulling out my Svenskt/American dictionary or calling my Swedish neighbor all hours of the day to clarify certain passages, but there's a lot in there about the differences between American snuff and Swedish snus.
I still have an occasional pipe or cigar now and then. I went a long time without wanting them once I gave up cigarettes. I was afraid that the mere act of burning tobacco would drive me back to cigarettes, but it isn't like that at all. Even when I smoked cigarettes I never inhaled pipes or cigars, but my tastebuds were still wrecked and I never really got to appreciate the nuances of premium tobacco like I can now thanks to snus.
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