Whole Leaf Tobacco

Home-made Chimo

CobGuy

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Since I only had a small amount of green leaves this year, I decided to try my hand at making Chimo.
This product is nearly impossible to order anymore so it was high-time I got busy on a recipe.
The basics involve boiling your green leaves, straining them, adding a little sweetener and cocoa and cooking down to a paste.
Here's some photos along the way:





 

CobGuy

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The flavor of this batch is a little too sweet but not too bad for the first try ... think bitter, yet sweetened, chocolate.
Also, it will require further dehydration to be able to roll it into a ball as it's still somewhat of a paste.
Here's some additional notes on making Chimo:

1. Chop your green tobacco leaves and place into a pot with just enough water to almost cover them.
NOTE: Next time I will start with less water as the leaves themselves expel their water as they heat.

2. Bring to nearly a boil but do not let the temperature get above 100°C - hold this simmer for about 90 minutes.

3. Strain the leaves out using a cheese cloth or other method to remove most of the vegetative matter.

4. Add your desired alkalizers, sweetener and / or cocoa ... I used 1/4 tsp Slaked Lime with 1/2 tsp honey, 1/2 tsp molasses and 1/2 tsp cocoa
NOTE: Next time I'll cut those additives by half and use 1/4 tsp's and also increase the alkalizer amount.

5. Bring the remaining solution back to a simmer and keep the temp under 100°C again.

6. As the solution starts to thicken it will become much easier for the temperature to rise too high so be diligent.
NOTE: Taking the pot off and back on the low burner is an easy way to continue safely.

7. Once it's reached a paste-like consistency it can be removed and refrigerated.
NOTE: Next time I will scrape it out onto parchment paper and continue the dehydration process in the oven at 90-95°C

8. When it's ready to sample, roll up a very small ball and place it under the tongue.
NOTE: Use caution and a small portion at first as this stuff kicks like a mule.

Hope someone can use this information and keep these ancient methods alive!

~Darin
 

CobGuy

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The starting amounts were very approximate ... about a pound of green leaves in about a quart of water.
My ending paste was approximately 1/4 cup or so from this starting amount.
I have a feeling these folks weren't pulling out the measuring spoons and just learned from experience how much to toss in.
My initial trial definitely confirms that the amount of sweeteners added were too much.
Not that it's bad ... it's like a sweet nicotine paste for your gums. LOL
Trial and error is what it's all about though, right? :)

~Darin
 

deluxestogie

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Having never heard of chimó, I did some reading. It has been used in the Andean portions of Venezuela and Colombia for eons--likely thousands of years before Columbus. It's essentially a thick paste or gum produced from cooked tobacco, and may or may not be flavored or sweetened in various ways. It's still commonly used in those same geographic regions, and available in most markets there--sometimes packaged like Tootsie-Rolls, with branded wax paper wrappings.

With thinner preparations, a smear of it is rubbed in the cheek. The thicker versions are used in the same manner as a Skoal Bandit. You have to spit out the juice periodically. But it's smoke-free and hands-free.

Bob
 
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