Tobacco has been smoked, snuffed and chewed for centuries and is still enjoyed by many people today. Though chewing tobacco can be purchased from vendors, some people find enjoyment in making their own chew using their own products and tools. Homemade tobacco chew can be seasoned using various herbs, giving it an original customised flavour different than the flavour of any store-bought chew. In just a few steps, tobacco leaves can be turned into herbal tobacco chew.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Tobacco leaves
- Food processor
- 1 cup juice (optional)
- Oak box (optional)
- 1/2 cup molasses (optional)
Harvest or purchase tobacco leaves and tie them into a bundle. In a partially enclosed area, such as a barn or warehouse, hang the bundle of tobacco leaves over a continuous or intermittent low-smouldering fire. Hang them high enough that they do not catch on fire, but close enough that the smoke reaches them. Fire cure the leaves for three to 10 weeks, depending on the tobacco.
Cut down the bundle, untie the leaves and strip the stems from them. Put the cured leaves into a food processor and grind them until the leaves are as small as you desire.
Bring juice and molasses to a boil in a saucepan, if desired. Add the tobacco leaves gradually, stirring as you do; add herbs such as oregano, basil, lemon grass, mint or bay leaves to the mix. Season to taste, stirring constantly and, when the mixture is tacky enough for your preference, remove it from the heat and place it into an oak container or other container; an oak container cures the tobacco even further.
Tips and warnings
- Try experimenting with different herbs and ingredients to get different flavours of chewing tobacco.
- Monitor the fire closely and constantly as you cure your tobacco leaves. If preferred, you can leave the tobacco leaves outdoors in the sun to cure instead of curing by fire, but this will result in a different taste.
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