Rusty's wisdom concerning Navy Tobacco

FAQs, info, etc. No horsing around. The librarian is a brute.
Post Reply
User avatar
MrPiper
Needs to lighten up with the Xs
Needs to lighten up with the Xs
Posts: 5428
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 6:00 pm
Contact:

Rusty's wisdom concerning Navy Tobacco

Post by MrPiper » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:31 am

by Rusty » Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:39 am
We all still fiddle to protect and preserve our tobacco. That's the real connection with the early sailors and us. The form of the tobacco and the tools we have dictate the solutions but really the connection is there.

Years ago I experienced the connection more directly. We used to be able to buy leaf wrapped in kraft paper from the growers. I wouldn't be surprised if those of you that live in NC might still be able to buy this in the markets there. There were a variety of sizes from 4oz up to a pound. Here in Canada there was a choice of two: air-cured or Flue-cured. Of course one was Burley and the other was Virginia. Inside the package was shriveled whole leaf including stems and the leaf veins. It was quite dry and fragile of course. The first time I bought it I was too stupid to ask how to prepare it. So I did what seemed reasonable. I moistened it and then rolled it into a tube, wrapped it in twine, and then sliced it into coins. I even made a board with a knife, attached at the far end of the blade, to make cutting easier. The one thing I didn't do was to let it mature for a while before cutting it. The next time I went back I described what I had done and the seller said 'That's it!, That's what you do to prepare it." He is the one that explained that I had just repeated a process that is hundreds of years old and it's called Navy Cut.

User avatar
JudgeRusty
Didn't even get to wear his hat
Didn't even get to wear his hat
Posts: 6054
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:00 pm
Location: VA

Re: Rusty's wisdom concerning Navy Tobacco

Post by JudgeRusty » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:14 pm

Other "Navy" musings from Rusty:

That the word 'navy' is almost as useful and descriptive as the word 'pipe' when applied to labels of pipe tobacco.

There have been a couple of threads where people wrestle with what Navy means. They usually peter-out without concluding anything. A good proportion of the tobaccos we smoke are loosely derived from the way sailors used to prepare their tobaccos. That includes chew as well. Smoking was often forbidden on the wooden ships where these traditions started. So they chewed and often cut coins out of the chew to smoke when that was permitted. But the use of casing, the pressing of tobacco, all have their origins with the way sailors prepared tobacco in 16th & 17th C.
What are the manufacturers telling us when they include the word 'navy'?

Yes, there is a huge variety of so called navy tobaccos. Ropes have a naval tradition as well. In fact Escudo is (or was) sliced rope. But in form, tobacco constituents, toppings 'navy' has more historical significance than as an adjective that denotes any one thing about the tobaccos. I can't think of a single attribute that they all share.

It can mean rope, flake, coin/curly, rum flavour, honey/mead flavour, Va, Va/Per, Burley, Va with a little Latakia, plus fire-cured versions of Va, Burley etc.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal

Post Reply