Tobacco in La Palma

Tobacco growing in Breña Alta, La Palma
Tobacco growing in Breña Alta

I don’t smoke, so everything I know about Palmeran cigars is from hearsay. But they seem to have a very good reputation. Certainly Winston Churchill was known to be a fan, and certainly they get shipped off to the Spanish royal family.

Most of the tobacco farms on the island are in Santa Cruz, Breña Baja, and especially Breña Alta. Typically, the crop is grown in tiny fields and given tender, loving care. For example, you have to prevent the plant from flowering in order to produce big leaves. Large-scale farms usually do this with chemicals, but Palmeran growers nip the buds out by hand. The leaves are harvested and dried by hand, too.

And then the leaves go off to be rolled into cigars. This is mostly done in tiny little workshops, scattered around the island. The finished cigars are much cheaper than Cuban ones, and I’m told some people think they’re better.

Don’t ask me. I don’t smoke.

Cigars from the island of La Palma
Cigars from La Palma

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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