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Arizona Latakia attempt

PressuredLeaf

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So, I’ve been following the various Latakia threads with interest, since Latakia blends are some of my favorite. After doing some research, I’ve found many of the woods and plant species reported in Latakia production are pretty common landscape plants here in the valley. For instance, Aleppo pine grows like a weed here. Additionally things like mastic and Myrtis communis are also very common. I went to the nursery today and grabbed a few myrtle plants, some are dwarf, and the others are more vigorous. I’m in the process of sourcing a holly oak and mastic tree, but my goal is to turn some of my up coming Prilep into “Arizona Latakia “15B3AD94-4ADA-486C-9006-92FC9A4FB4B9.jpeg18FF23DD-93B4-4876-ACC8-AB3E52EEEDB7.jpeg
 

PressuredLeaf

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My fire cured tobacco in the kiln smells almost exactly like Lapsang souchong. I cured it with a blend of white cedar from my property, and compressed pine pellets.
What’s lapsang souchong?
How long did you smoke it? I’m thinking of using mainly Aleppo pine, live oak, and small amounts of Mediterranean Cyprus, myrtle, mastic, and laurel as aromatics.
 

TigerTom

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One of my neighbors has a large Myrtle tree and it's throwing off seedlings like made. I suppose I'll have to transplant a few.

My other neighbor used to have a few pistachio trees, related to mastic, but they were removed because they never produced a crop in over 10 years of growing. Had I known they were going to be removed, I'd have asked for the wood.
 

deluxestogie

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TrueMyrtle_oppositeLeaves.jpg

Myrtus communis: true myrtle (biblical myrtle). Note the opposite leaves.

CrepeMyrtle_alternateLeaves.JPG

Lagerstroemia sp.: a genus of ~50 different species commonly called crepe myrtle in landscaping. Note the alternate leaves.

I would imagine that none of the many species of crepe myrtle are used to make Latakia in the eastern Mediterranean. Neither true myrtle nor crepe myrtle are toxic. I have no idea what you might expect from using crepe myrtle. Bay laurel is probably a closer species to true myrtle.

Bob
 

PressuredLeaf

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Who mentioned Crepe Myrtle?
It’s a good point to clarify, even if no one directly mentioned crepe myrtle. I know I generated some confusion when asking nursery employees for “myrtle”.

I’m not sure how the smoke will translate, but the Myrtus communis plant smells very nice, a bit like eucalyptus.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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I had several runs. The process was pretty experimental. One got too hot, one emulated flue curing temperatures, and two were in the 120° range. I wasn't just smoking it. I was working with uncured leaf.
 

TigerTom

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It’s a good point to clarify, even if no one directly mentioned crepe myrtle. I know I generated some confusion when asking nursery employees for “myrtle”.

I’m not sure how the smoke will translate, but the Myrtus communis plant smells very nice, a bit like eucalyptus.

Ya, you're right.

Myrtle and Eucalyptus are from the same plant family, as are Bottlebrush, so it makes sense they have similar aromas.
 

roman1967

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What does real latakia smell like???
It's hard to buy good tobacco from us
Latakia sold here smells strongly of tar or creosote (difficulty of translation), I honestly thought that it was simply smoked with birch bark
In the old days in Russia, it was by burning birch that they made tar
 

deluxestogie

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What does real latakia smell like???
Latakia smells exactly like aroma 42.

The question is unanswerable. It is complicated by the reality that Latakia from Cyprus smells slightly different from the Latakia of Syria. And the Cyprus Latakia from one season's crop smells different from the Cyprus Latakia of another season's crop. Latakia is produced from a low-nicotine Oriental tobacco variety (usually a Basma type) that has been fired for many weeks (smoked) over smoldering scrap wood and landscape brush. The available varieties of scrub and wood change from one specific location to the next, and from one season to the next. But that scrap and brush are always composed of common varieties specific to the eastern Mediterranean basin.

My sense of it is that you can come closer using a broad mixture of aromatic woods for producing the smoke (and even use some marketed, incense spices, such as clove and "tears of Chios"). Woods that I suggest avoiding are woods that are commonly used to smoke food products or barbecue, since they will tell your brain that it is not Latakia.

I test the usefulness of a firing material (what I will use to produce the smoke) by burning a tiny fragment of it on an electric burner of my kitchen stove, and simply smelling the smoke it emits. Many promising possibilities smell acrid and awful when burned. Others smell delicious but wrong for tobacco. Still others trigger in my brain the incense character of genuine Latakia.

If you have never smoked true Latakia, then you are fortunate in being able to simply follow your preference, rather then a mythical goal.

Bob
 

roman1967

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[QUOTE = "deluxestogie, post: 190369, member: 14"]
Латакия пахнет точно так же, как аромат 42.
Боб
[/ QUOTE ]
спасибо за подсказки, по дереву, а вот про аромат № 42 так и не понял, есть какой-то список, где его можно почитать?
У меня чистый Кентукки, сделанный в Индии, похоже он на Латакию ????, или даже вкусы из упаковки пахнет чистым креозотом, честно боюсь его курить :)
 
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deluxestogie

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What is typically burned in a censer today is benzoin resin, frankincense, and myrrh. Each of them is available for purchase on-line, and none is particularly expensive for a home-size batch of Latakia. I have no doubt that these are not regularly used for making commercial Latakia. But all of the woods and herbs and scrap varieties that are used contain similar, aromatic chemical compounds.

Bob
 
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