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Perique question

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    Anonymous

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    Hello Folks,

    I became a Perique & Kentucky Fan(atic) over the past months and chose them as my main-smokes.
    When reading a bit about Perique I encountered different informations.

    Some mention "The tobacco are hung up to dry and rubbed with water only"; whilst other state it's rubbed with fruit-mash/puree.

    I personally taste a lot of fruit taste like figs, raisins, plums and even a orangy tone when smoking Perique-blends - so that would fit the "rubbed with fruit-mash" thing. But I also smoked Perique blends, that diddnt taste fruity at all, only peppery - which makes me think "are there 2 or more ways of treating Perique??"

    Does anyone know "the truth"?

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    jitterbugdude

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    Perique is simply cured tobacco that is moistened and then pressed in a barrel. The rumors of adding fruit flavors were started by uninformed individuals. Historically, Perique was never a hot selling commodity. There was always a big surplus of it so there would be no need to try to adulterate tobacco to make a faux Perique. There will be differences in the final Perique product due to the cultivar used, length of time in the barrel, seasonal temps etc but probably the biggest factor is the sauce that each blender adds to their blend.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    thanks @jitterbugdude.
    So how come Perique most of the time has a distinctive fruity-aroma? Is it the tobacco itself providing the taste?
    I really can't see why Perique wasn't / isn't a Top-Seller, as it's one of - if not THE finest tasting tobacco I've ever tried.
    Damn...somehow I like the idea of rubbing fruit-puree on tobacco leaves. If I ever get the chance to grow my own tobacco, I'll certainly try to do so.

    One thing you mention "the saue that each blender adds to their blend" makes me think:
    I've heard there is no "pure tobacco", even if it states that in the description. Supposedly any pipe tobacco is cased/flavoured/topped in some way - is that true? If so, why would they do so? Does "real" pure tobacco taste bad?

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    jitterbugdude

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    distinctive fruity-aroma? Is it the tobacco itself providing the taste

    Yes, The anaerobic fermentation process that starts with lots of bacterial microbes and ends up with lots of yeast.

    Supposedly any pipe tobacco is cased/flavoured/topped in some way - is that true?

    Yes, there are supposed to be a few that are not but I do not know what they are (I believe that Semois has nothing at all added to it). They are sauced because the blenders have a very limited variety of tobacco to choose from. Of the dozens of Turkish for instance, there are maybe 3 varieties readily available available (Izmir being the most common). There are dozens of Burleys and Virginias too but only a few available. So if we have 3 different blenders and they are all using the same tobacco the only way to make their product unique is to add a secret sauce. They also sell tobacco by weight so they like to add tons of water. Adding water means mold so they add mold inhibitors and sometimes I would think that to disguise the taste of the mold inhibitors they would need to add some more secret sauce.

    Does "real" pure tobacco taste bad

    "real" tobacco tastes excellent. Some of the various Turkish tobaccos( such as Bucak, Tekkekoy, Duzce) will blow your mind.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. mawnansmiff

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    I recently posted a thread regarding St. James Flake and St. James Plug where I asked the forum why was it that the Perique in the plug version tasted fruity yet in the flake version it tasted peppery.

    I have since made the discovery that a 50:50 mix of St. James Flake and FVF turns the peppery taste into a fruity taste!

    Bizarre I know but perfectly true. If anyone can explain that it would be much appreciated.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    ...take up thy stethoscope and walk...
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I get what you're saying @jitterbugdude, makes perfectly sense!
    But still it makes me frustrated, that there is not much nature in what's sold as "natural-tobacco". Sugar-water or maple-syrup treatment - fine. Rub the tobacco with fruits or anything else that's natural - also fine! But why the hell does anything to eat, drink and smoke have to contain tons of artificial- and chemical ingridients?

    I can't think of one thing you can buy in the supermarket that doesn't contain chemicals in any way. Maybe fruits, but even those might have got sprayed with anything.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. pappymac

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    There have been several discussions about perique on here that you can search for and read.
    This links are to articles on the pipesmagazine.com website in 2015. I went on the tour also.
    http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/pipe-manufacturer-retailer-spotlight/the-perique-pilgrimage/
    http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/put-that-in-your-pipe/the-mystique-of-perique/

    I am glad we have a good admin and responsible moderators.

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    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. warren

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    Artificial flavors and various chemicals are added for two reasons usually, attractive taste and shelf life. By and large people eat what tastes good, not what is healthy. Gotta cater to the masses, not the fadists, if you want a large consumer base. I've never eaten a tasty tofu anything unless it was adulterated with enjoyable flavors, usually salts, sugars, artificial flavors.

    I add even more chemicals, many carcinogenic, as I love to smoke a pork shoulder or a hunk of beef.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. toobfreak

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    Depending on where the perique was made I think affects the final taste in whatever flavor agents are developed within the leaf. What are there, 3 or 4 different kinds? Also, what you mix the perique with might affect the perception.

    To Master Po: Is it not being able to see that makes you tire of life?
    Master Po: No! It is being able to hear!
    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. cranseiron

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    Jay, I have no answer to your question, but thanks for that great tip!
    Eric

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. pappymac

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    Real perique is only made in St. James Parish Louisiana. I wouldn't consider anything else to be perique.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. toobfreak

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    It's my understanding that there are different varieties grown within the perique growing region in which the parish resides. The stuff grown right in the parish might be the original, but there is also the Paulina, which is kind of earthy, South Vacherie, which has sort of a coffee tone, Belmost which is olivey, and Grand Point which is fruity and peppery.

    I've heard that usually when you buy perique and what many use is a mixture of many/all of these. Perhaps that is why some people notice more of a peppery taste in some blends while more of a fruity taste in others.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. pappymac

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    toobfreak - You could be correct. It could also be that those varieties are relatively new on the market also. I'll have to email Mark Ryan and ask unless Russ would care to chime in.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    jitterbugdude

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    Real perique is only made in St. James Parish Louisiana. I wouldn't consider anything else to be perique.

    This myth just never dies.

    All the Perique sold for at least the last 30 years has been a mix of different tobaccos,some pressed in St James and others pressed elseware. The variety "Perique" is used as well as "Green River" and probably others.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. pappymac

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    jitterbugdude - read the article.
    http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/put-that-in-your-pipe/the-mystique-of-perique/

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. toobfreak

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    Mmmm. Just think of all the places your tobacco has been and the number of hands that have been all over it, dirty old kegs, wood, tables, bins, machines, before you ever saw it. And somehow when a bit of it goes moldy in the jar at home, they think it's their fault. If your home is not by far the CLEANEST place your tobacco has ever been, I would be shocked.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. mawnansmiff

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    Let us not forget chaps that Perique is actually a process and not a variety of tobacco.

    The process involved in creating Perique is quite a unique and complex one, first used by Native Americans. Therefore technically Perique can be manufactured anywhere.

    I have tried Acadian Perique (in a blend) and found it tasted nothing like the St. James Perique most of us are familiar with.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. cranseiron

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    Jay, what mix ratio do you use for your St. James/FVF blend?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. toobfreak

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    I have tried Acadian Perique (in a blend) and found it tasted nothing like the St. James Perique most of us are familiar with.

    That's a good question. I have several different periques from various companies--- I suppose one of these days I will have to break into my "Apocalyptic" Reserves to find out how they taste mixed with several different apocalyptic Virginias, among other things. Been trying to hold onto the stuff as long as possible.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. mso489

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    Latakia and Perique are overused as default condiment tobaccos in so many blends, yet both are terrific when used skillfully to bring up the nuances of the base tobacco, usually Virginia and or burley, and other condiments like Orientals and others. When I see a blend series with Lat and Per in every one of four or five blends, my heart sinks. I don't doubt some of those blends are good, but why the sameness? Dark fired, Cavendishes, Turkish, and other alternatives give so much range.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. cortezattic

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    Here's An In Depth Look At Perique, by Russ Ouellette.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. toobfreak

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    You are so right, mso. I see both of them more as flavor enhancers much as salt and pepper are to food. They are a catalyst for bringing out inherent qualities in other tobaccos. Right now I am discovering the wonders of what a little black cavendish can do for a blend!

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    jitterbugdude

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    jitterbugdude - read the article.
    http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/put-that-in-your-pipe/the-mystique-of-perique/

    Here's An In Depth Look At Perique, by Russ Ouellette.

    Both these articles confirm what I said earlier. No one is smoking "pure" St James Perique.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. pappymac

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    Jitterbugdude - I think we are arguing "red delicious vs winesaps" here. Both of the articles do say that everyone has been smoking blended perique since the 1950s. My statement was that to be real St. James Perique, it had to be the tobacco grown in St. James Parish. You're arguing that no one is smoking "pure" St. James Perique.

    There is a difference in the two.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. mawnansmiff

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    Eric...

    I have since made the discovery that a 50:50 mix of St. James Flake and FVF turns the peppery taste into a fruity taste!

    I tend to weigh out 200g of each and rub them out together and mix thoroughly on a copper tray afore jarring up. I then decant from this jar as required.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  26. cosmicfolklore

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    whilst other state it's rubbed with fruit-mash/puree.

    if anyone is telling you this, they are just making stuff up.
    I personally taste a lot of fruit taste like figs, raisins, plums and even a orangy tone when smoking Perique-blends

    I relate it to the use of cinnamon. A little cinnamon added to something sugary, makes it have a tangy flavor. If you add it to meats, it adds an exotic savory quality. But, if you add a lot of cinnamon, it becomes hot and spicy. Perique is the same way. a little makes the Virginias fruity, a lot makes them spicy hot, peppery. Added to burleys does something different all together.

    Michael
    Posted 2 years ago #
  27. mawnansmiff

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    "Perique is the same way. A little makes the Virginias fruity, a lot makes them spicy hot, peppery."

    Well said Michael, that adds credence to my experiment of blending my St. James Flake with FVF which makes for a more fruitier taste than the pepperiness of smoking it straight.

    I do like it straight but prefer it blended.

    I also noted in a previous thread that St. James Plug is more fruity than the flake version.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  28. cranseiron

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    Got it, Jay-- thanks.
    Cosmic, great observation.

    I shall apply this new-found knowledge to fruit up my Vapers!

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    jitterbugdude

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    itterbugdude - I think we are arguing "red delicious vs winesaps" here. Both of the articles do say that everyone has been smoking blended perique since the 1950s. My statement was that to be real St. James Perique, it had to be the tobacco grown in St. James Parish. You're arguing that no one is smoking "pure" St. James Perique.

    Pappymac, I think I understand you.. only "real St James Perique" can be made in St James. What I'm trying to convey is that Perique can be made anywhere. Just because it is not made in St James Parish does not me it is not authentic Perique.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  30. pappymac

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    jitterbugdude - That is correct. Any tobacco anywhere in the world can be processed in the Perique manner. Will it taste exactly the same as the tobacco grown in the Louisiana Parishes? Probably not. To me one of the differences is that all the Perique made in St. James Parish contains some of the Louisiana tobacco.

    Beyond that is like legally only sparkling wine from a certain region of France can be called Champagne. Sparkling wine made using the same method from any other place in the world has to be called sparkling wine. Scotch can only be called Scotch if it's made in Scotland. Bourbon can only be called Bourbon if its made in Kentucky, etc.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  31. cosmicfolklore

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    Pappymac, I think I understand you.. only "real St James Perique" can be made in St James. What I'm trying to convey is that Perique can be made anywhere. Just because it is not made in St James Parish does not me it is not authentic Perique.

    I've read a few other hobby growers say this, but the market, we say, "NAY." I don't want champagne made in Texas, Canadian crawfish, nor a Chinese Rolex. I mean, as a novel taste, sure, I'd try some, but I would be pissed if I found out that the perique in my Escudo was made by some yahoo in their backyard. Mark Ryan has worked too hard to keep the integrity of the perique market viable for us to let some wank ride the coat tails of the effort.
    Sure, sure for argument's sake, perique can be made anywhere, but really, who cares? When I smoke a VaPer, I want Mississippi River mud and crawfish gumbo intermingling with my smoke. I don't want fake Rolexes, fake Nikes, nor fake perique.
    It's a very expensive process, and finally the farmers and workers are getting a fair wage. Piss on the fakers disrupting a system pulling itself out of ruin.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  32. paulie66scandinavian

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    Toobfreak &Mso I'm backing up your statements here, to each his own,of course, but I scary of blends containing large quantities of perique(same with Latakia of which I'm not too crazy bout) and even more if see burley listed with perique,although,I'm pretty new to pipes so my assumption here may be a little bit hazy,yet I'm still accustoming myself to light-medium forte Vapers,(so far I find them refreshing and tasty)arguably a little addition of perique tames down these commonly exposed bitey elements found in many of Bright Virginia blends?

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 2 years ago #

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