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anotherbob

Lifer
Mar 30, 2019
16,037
30,078
46
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
How many pipe smokers think Virginia isn't a strain but just where it's grown. Additionally how many don't care or at most think that's why it taste different (most be the grow conditions there). Also how many of us spent years laboring under that misapprehension? I know I did for a while.
Bonus thing... I once saw in a fail slideshow a picture of produce with a label that said "Chinese Eggplant product of U.S.A.". It was a amazing how many people didn't realize Chinese Eggplant is a strain of Eggplant not where it's from.
 

mso489

Lifer
Feb 21, 2013
41,210
60,500
The nomenclature is confusing. All of those English blends, none of them grown in England and only a few blended in England. Living in North Carolina, I know we grow a lot of Virginia tobacco. Burleys are understood to be cosmopolitan, often being identified as African, Caribbean, Belgium, etc. A few blends are called Carolina leaf, which is confusing because they are Virginia seed grown in either of two Carolinas. Then there are aromatics, but not counting Latakia, which is aromatic. Pipe smoking is about as confusing as learning English as a second language, with all the quirks, contractions, idioms, and inconsistencies. So go with the flow, as they used to say. It all makes sense eventually, or we learn not to care.
 

romaso

Lifer
Dec 29, 2010
1,799
6,890
Pacific NW
How closely related are Burley & Virginia? If you plant the seed of one, can you make it the other thru where it's grown & how it's cured, etc.? Or are they each their own distinctive seed?

At what botanical level are they related? I think they are both Nicotiana Tabacum, which is a species of the genus Nicotiana?
 

kschatey

Lifer
Oct 16, 2019
1,118
2,276
Ohio

DanWil84

Lifer
Mar 8, 2021
1,691
12,650
40
The Netherlands (Europe)
I think a little indepth knowledge of the stuff we spend gazillions of currency on is a thing of which I think is elementary before diving into. Maybe that's me overanalyzing almost everything, but it gives me peace of mind that I don't spend money on something I could have know when I would have read a little. You can't know everything but Im pretty sure my research has prevented me from wasting. And I think even knowing the basics about leaf is a bit of information you need.
 
The first year I started growing my own, I started trying to find as much information as possible on seed stock and flue curing information. I quickly discovered that there was a language barrier between what we call this thing.

On labels of blends and in marketing we read “Virginias”. To the manufacturers that process the leaf we read “flue cured.” And, from the growers we read “bright leaf.”

There is a commercial seed stock known as Virginia Gold used in cigarettes and many pipe blends, but there is also Canadian and Ukrainian varieties produced commercially. And, African Dark varieties called Imperial or African Virginias are merely burleys with some flue cured and even fire cured, used in many GH&co and SG blends that many mistake as Kentucky Fire Cured.

But, there are some heritage varieties such as Cherry Red, Lemon, and hundreds of other bright leaf varieties.

Most likely the reason we call them Virginias in the Pipe world is because the Virginia coast land was where Orinoco varieties were discovered to cure sweeter with heat by slaves in the 1850’s. But, quickly it spread throughout other states. And, through experimenting they found that poor quality burley with lots of starch could be flue cured as well. But, Virginia stuck, and is still used to describe this type of processed leaf.

But, Virginia is definitely not the state where most of it is produced, just like Canadian and Ukrainian leaf can be produced anywhere also.

But, if anyone is interested in growing, “bright leaf” is the best seed stock to look for, and flue curing and color curing are the processes to research.
 

pipestud

Lifer
Dec 6, 2012
2,012
1,769
Robinson, TX.
How many pipe smokers think Virginia isn't a strain but just where it's grown. Additionally how many don't care or at most think that's why it taste different (most be the grow conditions there). Also how many of us spent years laboring under that misapprehension? I know I did for a while.
Bonus thing... I once saw in a fail slideshow a picture of produce with a label that said "Chinese Eggplant product of U.S.A.". It was a amazing how many people didn't realize Chinese Eggplant is a strain of Eggplant not where it's from.

I visited with McClelland's guru's Mike and Mary McNiel about this very subject a couple of years ago, and learned some things about Virginia tobacco - especially Red Virginia tobacco - that I never knew. I wrote a blog about my findings here: What is Red Virginia & Why is it So Special? - https://www.pipestud.com/what-is-red-virginia-why-is-it-so-special/
 

anotherbob

Lifer
Mar 30, 2019
16,037
30,078
46
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
I visited with McClelland's guru's Mike and Mary McNiel about this very subject a couple of years ago, and learned some things about Virginia tobacco - especially Red Virginia tobacco - that I never knew. I wrote a blog about my findings here: What is Red Virginia & Why is it So Special? - https://www.pipestud.com/what-is-red-virginia-why-is-it-so-special/
I have to say I love reds. But I've always had a thought that your blog confirms. Red is a broader category then people think it is. Scratch that.... I love tobacco but especially Reds.
 
I’ve managed to get reds from pushing a color cure on them, which simulates the way cigar leaf is cured. The mid leaf is easier to redden. No one had told me that bottom leaf “couldn’t” color cure, but it is definitely harder to do. But, yeh, the tips and edges are what turns the reddest.
The heirloom variety Cherry Red seems to take the color cure the best, but you won’t find that variety grown commercially, and I do pick up hints of cherry in the flavor.
The coolest part of hobby growing is having access to all sorts of varieties that aren’t grown by commercial farmers.

Finding information on making a red was definitely the most challenging to get someone to share with me. Probably, because color curing wasn’t what the commercial manufacturers that I spoke with were doing. Otherwise, the people I spoke with were very kind and forthcoming with help.
 

hauntedmyst

Lifer
Feb 1, 2010
4,006
20,756
Chicago
Along the same lines of the OP's question, I want to know what percentage of people who had Dan Fogelberg's insipid love song "Longer" as their first dance wedding song got divorced.
 
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