Out of the Humidor

(continued from page 4)
Dear Marvin:
One thing I noticed in the letters to the editor published in your premier issue that surprised me a lot: some of your readers say "I was buying my weekly cigar box.... "For me a cigar you just buy is not immediately smokable, unless it has been stored in a humidor, out of its box or in an open box. First, such a cigar is probably too young, mostly because cigar stores do not maintain large stocks. Secondly, it may be too dry, as most cigars are wrapped with cellophane and boxed.
I keep about a six month supply in a cool place, just to age them and soften their taste. Then, two to three months before smoking them, I carefully remove the cellophane and put them in a humidor. The best bet would be to put each brand in a different humidor to avoid mixing their tastes. It takes ten to 15 days for the necessary humidity to penetrate to the core and be even. I think my method allows me to extract the maximum pleasure from each cigar.
Wishing the greatest success to CIGAR AFICIONADO.
Etienne Couteaux
Paris, France

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Dear Marvin:
I would like to humbly suggest a new column that would address cigar-related questions.
Presently I have three of my own:
1. Should I wet down my cigar before I smoke?
2. How are Maduro cigars made?
3. Of all cigars smoked today, what are the most popular sizes?
Jim Collins
Vienna, Virginia
Editor's Response: Good questions. 1) Never. Modern cigar manufacturing techniques make moistening the outer rapper unnecessary. 2) Maduro means ripe. As such, Maduro cigar wrappers are exposed in the sun longer, or are sweated longer in a tobacco-curing barn to achieve their dark, oily appearance and add a slightly sweet taste . 3) In America, smokers' preferences focus on the corona sizes. In Europe, you see more panatella or grand panatellas, which are a little thicker.

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Dear Marvin:
Thanks for a great magazine. Even we part-time cigar lovers appreciate its style and quality.
Joe Mantegna
Toluca Lake, California
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