Brunei Darussalam

ROLLING A CUBAN CIGAR

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Although smoking is prohibited at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport other than designated rooms, watching a Cuban cigar rolling demonstration however is greatly encouraged. It’s not very often you meet a Cuban in person much less an opportunity to see one roll their famous cigar. Curious and seeking  opportunity to see this man roll, I stopped by not once but twice in between our Tourism Malaysia itinerary and actually had a conversation on my second attempt. He whose name has now escaped me answered my questions and explained as he bunched up the leaves, trimmed, rolled and cut. Other attractions in KLIA that rolled off my tongue in ways that only can be best described as mouth-watering are the satay at the Satay Club!

A cigar is a tobacco leaf wrapped around a tobacco leaf filling. Bigger than a cigarette, and taking longer to smoke, the cigar is considered by aficionados to be the finest way to enjoy tobacco.

A cigar is a tobacco leaf wrapped around a tobacco leaf filling. Bigger than a cigarette, and taking longer to smoke, the cigar is considered by aficionados to be the finest way to enjoy tobacco.The principle raw material of the cigar is the leaf of the tobacco plan (Nicotiana tabacum).The tobacco plant grows in many climates, but the finest cigar tobacco is grown in Cuba, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. [More information: How cigar is made]

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Cigar rolling is skilled work: it may take a year for a roller to become proficient. The filler must be packed evenly for the cigar to burn smoothly, and the wrapper wound in an even spiral around the cigar.
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First the worker selects from two to six leaves for the filler. These are placed one on top of the other and rolled into a bunch.

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The roller places the bunch on the binder leaf and rolls the binder leaf cylindrically around the filler.
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Whole leaves are used for an inside wrapper, called the binder. The binder leaf can be of second quality or imperfect. Its appearance is not important. A large, finely textured leaf of uniform appearance is used for the outside wrapper. Some cigars are made with the leaves all from the same region. Others may be wrapped in a high-quality leaf (from Cuba for example) but filled with poorer quality leaf from another region.

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Secondary raw materials include a tasteless gum to stick the end of the wrapper together, flavoring agents that are sometimes sprayed on the filler leaves, and paper used for the band placed around each cigar.
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The worker cuts a small round piece out of a different wrapper leaf. This is sometimes done by tracing around a coin but in this case as shown here, he has a mould that conveniently cuts the leaf.

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This circle is then attached to the end of the cigar with paste.
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Wrapping is the most difficult step. The worker takes the partially completed cigar out of the mold and places it on the wrapper leaf. With a special rounded knife called a chaveta, the worker trims off any irregularities from the filler. Then the worker rolls the wrapper leaf around the filler and binder three and a half times, and secures it at the end with a small amount of vegetable paste.

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For more information about events or places of interest in Malaysia,
contact Tourism Malaysia Brunei office

MALAYSIA TOURISM PROMOTION BOARD
Unit 1.14 – 1.15, First Floor, The Rizqun International Hotel
Gadong BE3519,  Negara Brunei Darussalam
Tel: 673-2381575 / 673-2381576 | Fax: 673-2381584
Official Tourism Malaysia website

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