Syrian Latakia

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badbriar

Senior Member
Oct 17, 2012
456
817
Central Florida
I understand that this variety of Latakia is all but extinct, but I don't get as to why that is. Other than the destruction in that region, why is that strain of Latakia not planted and cultivated in other areas.
In the cigar world, it is common, for example, to take Cuban seed and plant in other cigar producing countries. Now, the resulting tobacco is not exactly the same, but still...it is available. It would be quite interesting to see how the Syrian strain produced in other areas would compare to Cyprian. Seems like if that were successfully pulled off, a company / blender would have the ultimately sought after current pipe blends around. If nothing else, it would be a killer piece of marketing - Limited Edition, etc. !
 

badbriar

Senior Member
Oct 17, 2012
456
817
Central Florida
The seed is not the most important part of it. It is the processing. This has been reproduced in Cypress, with great success. But you can only get so close.
So, why has no-one listed 'Syrian Seed' Latakia on the Tobacco ingredients? Seems like it would certainly garner a lot of interest. I would jump in, just out of curiosity.
Maybe Russ might consider this, as he is one of the blenders that definitely thinks outside the conventional box!
Also, I cannot see where any processing materials, outside of the Syrian tobacco itself that would impact availability.
 

Nomadorb

Preferred Member
Feb 20, 2020
861
5,970
SoCal
So, why has no-one listed 'Syrian Seed' Latakia on the Tobacco ingredients? Seems like it would certainly garner a lot of interest. I would jump in, just out of curiosity.
Maybe Russ might consider this, as he is one of the blenders that definitely thinks outside the conventional box!
Also, I cannot see where any processing materials, outside of the Syrian tobacco itself that would impact availability.
As far as I know, which is very little, the trees that provided the specific wood used to fire cure the latakia was made illegal to use by the government. That along with all of the civil unrest means I don't think it's a top priority over there anymore.
 
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sumusfumus

Preferred Member
Jul 20, 2017
596
533
New York City
I believe it is the materials used in the process of making Syrian Latakia that has been harvested to near extinction.
I would also think that with all the turmoil, death, destruction of life, bombing of cities, etc....the processing of some specialized niche-tobacco leaf might be the last things Syrians are worried about. Maybe the regions where the tobacco was grown processed, and those people who knew how to do it...no longer exists.
 

pantsBoots

Preferred Member
Jul 21, 2020
1,325
4,199
There Ain't No Place I'd Rather Be
So, why has no-one listed 'Syrian Seed' Latakia on the Tobacco ingredients? Seems like it would certainly garner a lot of interest. I would jump in, just out of curiosity.
Maybe Russ might consider this, as he is one of the blenders that definitely thinks outside the conventional box!
Also, I cannot see where any processing materials, outside of the Syrian tobacco itself that would impact availability.
As stated above, it is the processing and not just the genetics itself. Plus, in the cigar world, we've seen how much "Cuban-seed" actually means (i.e.: nothing whatsoever). More than most plants, tobacco is incredibly sensitive to soil composition, which is why cigars rolled with "Cuban seed" never taste like a Cuban cigar.
 

Nomadorb

Preferred Member
Feb 20, 2020
861
5,970
SoCal
As stated above, it is the processing and not just the genetics itself. Plus, in the cigar world, we've seen how much "Cuban-seed" actually means (i.e.: nothing whatsoever). More than most plants, tobacco is incredibly sensitive to soil composition, which is why cigars rolled with "Cuban seed" never taste like a Cuban cigar.
For proof of this, look no further than Semois. Burley grown in that specific region tastes totally unique.
 
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64alex

Preferred Member
May 10, 2016
535
271
[ For proof of this, look no further than Semois. Burley grown in that specific region tastes totally unique. ]

Or as another proof consider Perique which is only coming out from few acres on St. James parish and cannot replicated anywhere else.
For Syrian Latakia it is even more difficult because not only the tobacco but also the wood used for processing has to be specific of that region. The closer to Syrian Latakia is still the Cyprian one which is still different, that's it. And also consider the Syrian Latakia tin you can find in the aftermarket are different from what was the original Latakia as the leaf is of the 70'/80' and so in part change their character.
 

logs

Preferred Member
Apr 28, 2019
1,800
4,863
There is still Syrian grown tobacco. There are still farms producing the oriental leaf that gets made into Latakia. However it's doesn't taste like the Syrian latakia everyone cares about. The leaf coming out of Syria gets processed in Cypress and is cured and smoked using different wood and tastes just like conventional cyprian latakia. As Casual mentioned, it doesn't have to do with the seed, it has to do with the way Syrian leaf used to be processed--which is no longer possible due to environmental laws.
 

anotherbob

Preferred Member
Mar 30, 2019
9,279
17,255
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In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
from my understanding a big part of it is that farmers in the region make much more money growing other plants such as food crops. So why bother when it takes more labor for significantly lower returns. And also it can't be replicated because like everyone says it's a process that involves local plants.