You can buy whole leaf tobacco on the internet. It seems that whole leaf is not classed as a tobacco product but as an agricultural product. Duty is not levied on it. The purchase was not cheap. It cost £5 plus packaging of £1.95 for 25 grams. I’m sure that it could be obtained much more cheaply, but…. what the hell…….. for experimentation purposes…….
Out of curiosity, I order 25 grams a couple of days ago and have received the package through the post. Here is a pic of part of the supply:
There are 10 grams in that ‘pouch’.
I opened the contents up to see what form it took:
It is not easy to tell, but that seems to be one whole leaf which has been allowed to yellow and, presumably, cure. I have no reason to believe otherwise. It seems to have been folded and then flattened, presumably for bailing and transport. It had a distinctly sweet aroma, but I have no idea whether that is natural or added.
As I tried to unfold the leaf, I noticed that it was very, very dry and brittle. It fell apart as I tried to unfold it. If that is one whole leaf, then I wonder how big it was before it was dried? All I can judge from is the condition of the main rib. It was more or less intact. It was very hard and very tough, but quite substantial. I think that the leaf was probably pretty big on the plant. As you can see from the pic, the dried leaf is a little more that 30 cm long. I would guess that the leaf was originally almost twice as long. Next year, I shall make a point of weighing a big leaf and then drying it conventionally and re-weighing it.
I suppose that it would have been possible to moisten the leaf. I still have 15 grams to play with.
As a matter of interest, I made a fag with this brittle stuff. I can’t say that I was massively impressed. I also made up two fags using a mixture of the whole leaf and my own stuff. I cannot be sure…………. I need to try again.
The whole leaf is so dry that I have decided to moisten it in the same way that I moisten my own – I’ll put it in a container with orange peel, which should also sweeten it a little more. For this purpose, I have shredded the leaf:
The small pile on the right is the midrib. I had to chop it up, and I have also since grated it, using the grater which I mentioned a few posts back.
There are other experiments which I wish to perform. I want to try mixing my own with rolling tobacco and expanded tobacco. But there is no doubt in my own mind that my own produce, when sweetened with orange peel and mixed, produces a superior and much more enjoyable product. But it can be difficult to assess your own stuff because of the psychological DESIRE that it should be better. I can only rely upon reports from other people that it is so. My friend in the pub said so and a couple of commenters have said so.
I have just lit one of my own………………..Gosh! It is so tasty!