By Tino Manuel / Photos by Ramón Iglesias Centeno
Crowned as supreme by connoisseurs, who consider it the best in the world, the Cuban “cigar of cigars”, according to experts, is the hand-rolled Premium for its relationship with the soil, climate and the experience of its cigar makers.
Cuban Habanos have indeed become legend in the world, but they also have other myths and legends, representing a wide range of spiritual and worldly matters to Cubans, whether or not they are smokers.
Smoke from a cigar has its own value, as in many religious cultures using incense (which after all is only smoke), an impersonal ritual impregnating everything and signifying the glory of a pure mind and a loving heart.
Cigars became emblematic in Santeria, or Regla de Ochun, the religion with roots in Africa, as the god Eleggua, the path opener, is depicted as a short Black man dressed in white and red, walking with a cigar in his mouth, a stick in one hand and a machete in the other, to clear the bushes away.
In the Orisha dance there is a proud and cheerful movement of puffing smoke to open paths and make existence easier. Is there any other Cuban product with such responsibility?
Legends apart, cigar aficionados say this cigar, more than any other, facilitates starting conversations and making friends. And, who knows? It may also help to expand horizons.