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Whole Leaf Tobacco

Black Sea Region strains

istanbulin

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#1
The Black Sea Region (Karadeniz Bölgesi) is bordered by the Marmara Region to the west, the Central Anatolia Region to the south, the Eastern Anatolia Region to the southeast, the Republic of Georgia to the northeast, and the Black Sea to the north.



The regions famous Turkish tobaccos are mostly grown in the Middle Black Sea Region's coast and inland areas like Samsun, Bafra, Taşova, Gümüşhacıköy, etc... Black Sea Region has a parallel mountain chain to the Black Sea. This situation causes very variable climates between coastal and inland areas. Generally region has a oceanic climate with high and evenly distributed rainfall the year round. At the coast, summers are warm and humid, and winters are cool and damp. Eastern Black Sea Region (Trabzon to Artvin) coastal area has the highest annual precipitation in the country. Because of this climate, tea is widely grown in Rize (Turkey is the 5th biggest tea producer). At eastern side of the region semi-orientals are grown like Trabzon, Artvin, Pazar, etc...



Strains get their names from cities, towns or villages where they grown as in the other Turkish strains.


Samsun-Maden

Samsun-Maden is a noble strain in world-wide famous Turkish tobaccos. This strains growing areas are protected by coastal mountains. Samsun-Maden's leaves are small sized and oval. Leaf texture is superfine, elastic and ribs are barely visible. Leaf faces are bright-light red to red. Maden strain has all qualified characteristics desired in a high quality tobacco.
Nicotine content is oftenly lower than 1% and sugar content is 9-12%. Maden strain is necessary for oriental blend cigarettes but when it is smoked alone it's satisfying, sweet and aromatic.
Today it's not felicitous to produce an oriental blend without Maden and it's possible to mix it to an American blend.




Samsun-Canik

This strain is usually grown in inner Samsun (Canik) and west-side of the Yeşilırmak (Green River) delta.
Leaves have a shape of ox-tongue (sığırdili) and small-sized. Leaf texture and ribs are fine. Leaves are light-red colored.
They have a sweet and mild spicy taste. Because of this Canik strain is considered as one of the most fragrant tobacco strain in the world. Nicotine content varies from 1.25% to 1.40% and sugar content is 7-8% Because of sweet and aromatic taste Canik is mostly purchased for luxury cigarette blends. It may be mixed with cigar and pipe blends to make blends sweet, aromatic and satiated.





Bafra

Growing areas of Bafra is districts of Bafra and Alaçam. This strain is considered as one of the most noble strain in Turkish varieties. Leaves are oftenly small and partly medium sized with a narrow hearth-shaped form with fine ribs and fine texture.
Leaf color varies from bright red to dark red. Bafra have a nicotine content of 0.8-1.2% and a sugar content of 9-12%.
Bafra is important as Samsun strains in blends. If smoked alone smoke its aroma and sweetnes are balanced with strongness, a satisfying smoke.





Sinop

This strains growing areas are Sinap and Gerze. Leaves are small and medium sized. Leaf form is very similar to Bafra but not oval as Bafra. Colors varies from light-red to red. Leaf texture and ribs are fine. Lamines are not wavy as Bafra. Sinop hasn't got a very distinct flavor but it has a satisfying smoke. When it's blended, Sinop will balance the strong and mild blends. Gerze strain origin is more preferred compared to Sinop.


Trabzon

This strain is growing in Eastern Black Sea coastal region areas like Trabzon and Akçaabat. Leaves are large and wide. Trabzon has the largest leaves among semi-oriental strains in Turkey. Leaves may reach longer than 50 cm (app. 20 in.)
Leaf texture is fine and elastic. Leaf colors are bright and varies from red, copper-red to dark-red. Trabzon gives blends a good color and strenght. Trabzon have a nicotine content about 3.5 to 3.85% and a sugar content of 2-4% (low). Nicotine content of Trabzon is increased consciously by selection. Because at those days strong oriental blends are popular. They have a strong smoke and neutral aroma.
The inner eastern side, near Georgian border, Artvin tobaccos are classified as Trabzon but their nicotine content is lower (1.5-2%) and leaves are smaller. These are satisfying but not strong as Trabzon.





Tasova

This strain is grown in southern-middle Black Sea Region which includes Taşova,Tokat, Erbaa and Niksar. Leaves are medium sized with oval shape and color of yellow and sometimes reddish. Contains 1% nicotine and has a sweet taste with slow burning. It's used for giving blends sweetnes and recuding strongness also it's eligible for oriental, Virginia and American blends.
Erbaa tobaccos are high quality in Taşova growing areas.




Gümüşhacıköy (Basma)

Gümüşhacıköy is grown in inner middle Black Sea and it got the name from the district of Gümüşhacıköy. This strains seed came from Greece with demographic exchange between Turkey and Greece in 20s (Treaty of Lausanne). Because of this it's very similar with Xhanti (İskeçe) strain. Leaves are mostly small sized and leaf texture and ribs are fine. Leaf face is wavy and has a velvety touch. This strain have a nicotine content of 1% and sweet and aromatic taste with a sugar content of 10-12%. It's eligible for Virginia and American blends.




Pazar

Pazar is grown in the district of Rize, Pazar. This is the unique Turkish strain which is used for making cigars. It's cultivated from Wisconsin strain but it changed very much because of the climate and the agricultural applications. It's growing on coastal shoulder areas where the humidity is very high. This strain has big leaves and can be used as wrapper, filler as well as binder. Their texture is very fine and elastic. Leaf color varies from brown to greenish-brown. Dispite mid ribs are thick, side ribs are very thin. The angle of the side ribs by mid rib is near to 90 degrees. This angle provides a good wrapper leaf. Nicotine content is about 1-1.5%.



I'm preparing some maps for this region and I'll post some cigar or cigarette brands that are produced with Black Sea Region tobaccos, and very interesting tobacco growing video.
 

deluxestogie

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Helpful material. This year, I grew out seed that is labeled by ARS-GRIN (in their original accession document) as Tasoua. I notice in your post (and in some other Turkish documents) that it is often labeled "Taşova." Is Tasoua an error in the GRIN data (I've spotted quite a few), or can the pronounciation of Taşova be transliterated to Tasoua?

I also note that you do not list "Samsun" as a separate strain, even though such seed is held by ARS-GRIN, and "Samsun" is sold by a number of seed producers. I have grown it, and it resembles Bafra, though more vigorous, and somewhat stronger.

Bob
 

istanbulin

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I think all of the species must be named according to its original name rather than how its pronounciated, if they have a real name (some species have only scientific name). Taşova should be Tasova. I think there is an error in database it looks like a work of a smart arse researcher. Taşova is pronounciated in English like " Tashova ".

I wrote the most produced and commercially valuable strains. If you want Samsun from a tobacco dealer, they'll ask you which Samsun (where it's grown ?).
There is no practical importance of Samsun as a seperate strain.

There are a lot of seeds around, some of them did not cultivated in Turkey like Ottoman, Turkish Gold, etc...
 

deluxestogie

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Tasova it is, then.

Constantinides, in ~1910 identifies Samsun as a specific strain distinct from Bafra, Samsun-Maden and Samsun-Canik, as do documents from the big tobacco companies (e.g. Imperial Tobacco).

Recent marketeers, in the U.S. and elsewhere, have also labeled it "Black Sea Samsun," which adds to the confusion. If Turkish tobacco specialists don't even regard it as a variety, then I suppose just calling that lineage of seed "Samsun" will have to suffice.

One other question: In the name Gümüşhacıköy, I recognize Gümüş as meaning "silver." What does the "hacıköy" mean?

Bob
 

istanbulin

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I thnink you're right, Black Sea Samsun has an unnecessarily long name, it's enogh to call it Samsun.

Gümüşhacıköy's old name was only Hacıköy, after a while a town called Gümüş was joined to Hacıköy. After then this new district was called Gümüşhacıköy (in 1890)

Gümüş means, as you defined, silver. In Hacıköy there is two word; 1st is Hacı (hadji or pilgrim) 2nd one is Köy means village. Hacıköy can be translated into English by pilgrims village.

Its very hard to combine the whole name Gümüşhacıköy in English because they were separate towns before also it will be meaningless.
 

istanbulin

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Black Sea Region strains have been in use for a very long time. There were a lot of cigarettes beginning from the empire to the republic.

This old cigarette was made with Bafra and Maden blend (left). Another Bafra cigarette from imperial times (right).

]



An these are newer packages. The package on the right side is the last sold Bafra (filters) before millenium (1999).





This is the last Samsun blend cigarette sold in markets since 1935. It has got a filter since 1960. Package is a little different now, you know, tobacco is bad don't smoke it ... labels. I've been smoking it for a long time :)



Also there was a cigar brand " Pazar " which was produced by Pazar tobaccos. It's no more available.




Also I found a new photo of Pazar plant.

 

istanbulin

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This is what I promised. A video about Trabzon tobacco growing from seedlings to bales. Planting, topping, harvesting, curing and expertising (last stage). On the background you'll listen some traditinonal Black Sea music.

 

johnlee1933

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EXCELLENT video. I'd give a lot for an English voice over. I see air drying, sometimes shaded sometimes not. Probably a matter of timing. I see little or no cover so I assume it is dry at this season?

Again, VERY GOOD !

John
 

istanbulin

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EXCELLENT video. I'd give a lot for an English voice over. I see air drying, sometimes shaded sometimes not. Probably a matter of timing. I see little or no cover so I assume it is dry at this season?

Again, VERY GOOD !

John
Actually it's always rainy and foggy. Average rainy days are 150 for a year. That's why they built barns. There is not any barn in another tobacco growing area but Eastern Black Sea. Trabzon tobacco takes too long to dry.
 

leverhead

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Great video! Thank you! I'm very much a detail kind of person, I will watch this video many times. The rack system they were pushing into the barn will move allot of tobacco out of the weather very quickly. I have one detailed question to ask. At 3:07 in the video, was that yellow blossoms?

Steve
 

istanbulin

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Great video! Thank you! I'm very much a detail kind of person, I will watch this video many times. The rack system they were pushing into the barn will move allot of tobacco out of the weather very quickly. I have one detailed question to ask. At 3:07 in the video, was that yellow blossoms?

Steve
It's the first stage of the flower, when they get matured enough, like a real tobacco flower, they'll get the real pinky color. Yellowish buds can be found on many tobacco types, I recently saw them in my TN90s.
 

deluxestogie

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There's a lot of information in that video.

  • seedlings are germinated in prepared garden beds
  • transplants are densely placed (I would guess 8-12" between plants in all directions)
  • Trabzon plants produce a petiolate leaf structure common to the Samsun family
  • there are few, if any, footpaths between the plants
  • as the plants grow, they completely obscure the ground, inhibiting weed growth
  • human access to farther plants is apparently by priming away the leaves of nearer plants
  • plants are left un-topped
  • I see no mechanization (which bodes well for any home grower)

Bob
 

istanbulin

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Generally Trobzon is planted 6-8" intervals in the row and there should be 15-20" space between the rows. But they used a different planting technique in this video. Trabzon and Samsun tobaccos' stalk types are similar (petiolate), Trabzon and Samsun-Maden both have medium sized wings but Samsun-Canik has wide wings.
To inhibit the weed grow when plants are younger, fields are grubbed (seen in 1:40).
Actually, Trabzon plants are topped (seen in 2:24) but some plants may remain untopped because they give a lot of suckers.

I'll start a new topic about leaf morphology of tobacco if it's nonavailable in the forum. So we can discuss leaf types more detailed.
 

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The leaves seemed to have very little insect damage. Very clean leaf. What is used for insect control or is most of the damage at the outside of the fields? I watched it twice and then listened to it once with my eyes closed. The music is spell binding. Can you recommend a CD that might be available from Amazon?
 

istanbulin

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The leaves seemed to have very little insect damage. Very clean leaf. What is used for insect control or is most of the damage at the outside of the fields? I watched it twice and then listened to it once with my eyes closed. The music is spell binding. Can you recommend a CD that might be available from Amazon?
Generally no pesticides sometimes homemades are used. When pest risk is higher commercial products may be used.

For Black Sea music, I can suggest you Kazim Koyuncu (my favorite) and Volkan Konak (singer on the video, name of that song is Ela Ela Leose). There are many songs and albums of both available on Amazon.
 

Knucklehead

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I found several of Asik Veysel on Amazon. One was a 2 CD set. I was wondering if that would be a greatest hits album? Most had no descriptions and the ones that did were written in Turkish.
 
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