Weekly Photo Challenge: Smokin’ Fresh

Ometepe Island, Nicaragua has enticed cigar makers with its sweet and uniquely spicy tobacco for over a decade. Even among the well-known tobacco-growing regions of Nicaragua, where the black soil of Esteli yields strong tobaccos, the rocky soils of Condega produce a middle-range flavor, and the red clay of Jalapa provides the smooth wrapper tobaccos…Ometepe Island’s tobacco is fresh and new.

IMG_3222“Ometepe is unique,” says Plasencia Jr., a trained agronomist. “It’s a small area, with two volcanoes. The drainage is very good. There aren’t too many places in the world where you can find this.” The soil on Ometepe is so rich that it doesn’t need much fertilization. The surrounding fresh water from the sweet sea provides abundant humidity…perfect for growing tobacco.

IMG_3223The rich soil gives the tobacco grown here a rich earthy taste. Farmers call the soil, “Como pastel.” ( like cake) The tobacco is dulce y fuerte (sweet and strong).

IMG_3224If you would like to read more about the history of Nicaraguan tobacco, this is a great place to start. Nicaraguan Cigars.