Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Nicarao Cigar Factory

From the city of Esteli, homegrown. (Except for the Indonesian leaves that are imported to serve as the exterior leaves).

The factory we visited had roughly 100 workers and is classified as a Free Trade Zone (Zona Franca) which means that the company has no tax liabily and more than 90% of goods are exported. This factory (like most) does not have its own brand. Rather it produces cigars to the specifications of a few dozen brands (can anyone remember the day when you bought something under a certain brand name because you trusted that the brand stood for quality? Now you never know who actually produced things... occasionally you know where.)

Tobacco ferments for 12 months in a room like this (below) before it is rolled into cigars. It was very difficult to breathe in this room.
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