I did smoke some. No nasty taste from the tin or from the smoke. I've smoked some moldy Haunted Bookshop by accident before and it was musty and sour. It definitely shows some crystals. I also see a grayish/green tint in the sunlight. I think my final opinion is going to be that this tobacco has mold AND plume. I can't explain why it doesn't smell bad though. I'm going to try to post a couple pics that I tried to enhance. Wish I didn't have to, but I'm just going to toss this and move on. Thanks everyone for your help.
I would classify that as plume and smoke it. Is it actually some kind of fungus? Probably, based on growth patterns (seems to be along the cut edges and indentations), but not all fungus is necessarily bad (blue cheese for instance).
Years ago when I kept and smoked cigars, I had a few well aged Padrons that developed a very faint white mist and spots. Fellow at Milan Brothers told me that it was a fungus called "plume" and indicated that the cigar was aging well, just wipe them off with a paper towel if the plume gets out of control. When I did smoke them, they were excellent.
It is neither plume or mold. What you are actually seeing is a growing civilization upon your crumble cake. Microscopic people are building and creating. What you see is quite small, but to them they are towering buildings, skyscrapers! An entire world much like our own is being developed and even thriving on your tobacco. There is industrialization, agriculture, technologies... people going to and from work, tiny children going to and from school, playing sports, everything we do upon our own world is being done there. And you are their god. They see you looking down on them and turning their world over and over, observing. And when you reach down and break off a piece of their world, setting it aflame, they know that they have greatly angered you.
Considering that nobody can define “plume”, and most of what passes for it is actual fungal, I’d have to say that this chunk of tobacco is moldy.
Now, whether that is a good or bad thing, I don’t know.
I missed the part when "plume" changed from being a dusting of sugar crystals to being anything white in colour that isn't full out fuzzy like a teddy bear.
"Plume," to me anyway, was always the very obvious sugar crystals that glint like diamonds in the light. There was no middle ground. No in-between. You either had the sugar crystals or you had mold. Not that there's anything wrong with people smoking mold.
I've seen junkies pick up smack off a dirty sidewalk and get down to business. Who am I to judge?
Maybe I was too simplistic in my thinking and have tossed out some wonderfully aged tobacco. I didn't get into the whole aging thing though. In the times where it happened by accident, I found sugar crystals. And once or twice, mold.
Still looks a lot like mold to me. But, if "plume" actually is a mold -and not the sugar crystals I always thought it was- then yes, you have some nice plume. If it doesn't kill you or make you sick, enjoy!
But I'd mix that in to the garden if it were mine... If I ever see moldy your version of good aged tobacco with plume again, I'll set it aside and give it up free of charge.