The Passion of Flavor
Some of us are born with naturally sensitive olfactory senses as well as highly sensitive versions of the four types of papillae, known as taste buds. It’s the combination of these two senses that gives rise to our ability to understand both the senses of smell and taste, which allows us to better understand the various tastes and flavors that life has to offer us.
While some of us enjoy wines from around the world and the flavors and aromas they reveal, some add the mentality of collecting and others for the purpose of investment, but all true lovers of wine share the same passion! The passion of flavor being the primary driving force, but do not forget aroma, the second part of the puzzle. For without aroma, our sense of flavor would only be half fulfilled.
Memory is an important factor when it comes to flavor. Stored deep in our brains is our memory back which is constantly being recalled upon to compare a new flavor to one we have had in the past. The comparison is instantaneous and a selection is identified or a new one is registered. It’s this memory that we call upon to understand the many flavors that exist in nature.
Cigars and their flavor
A good friend of mine and fellow Architect, Jeffrey Matz, whom I consider to be a very esoteric, when it comes to project analysis and design execution, asked me to explain why people enjoy cigars? At that moment, I realized he did not understand the flavor component!
I explained that people smoke cigars for many reasons. Some smoke to pacify some deep seeded psychological need. Others to fulfill a need for nicotine buzz. But for me, it’s all about the passion of the flavor along with the aroma. I had to explain that my grandfather Harry enjoyed a fine mild cigar. He loved his Macanudo’s. And, my dad was a pipe smoker. I can still remember the smell of his Borkum Riff, Cherry liqueur flavored pipe tobacco smoke wafting in the air of our family room, as I inhaled the smoke……..ooops! But know one knew how bad second hand smoke was back then!
The tobacco leaves themselves have a unique bouquet even while being unlit. In fact, the aroma of tobacco is part of the flavor wheel, when describing some wines. One must understand that tobacco yields a terroir because it is a product of the earth. The aromas and flavors that tobacco has are a derivative byproduct of the soils and locations where they are grown. The organic flavor of terroir is mostly derived from the soil as well as the microclimate conditions where the tobacco grows. That’s why a Nicaraguan cigar tastes different from a Cuban cigar. The Jalapa Valley of Nicaragua produces its own unique terroir flavors while the Vuelta Abajo, of Cuba produces quit another special terroir.
Jeff now understood that cigars are more than the process of smoking and he nodded with acknowledgement. And don’t forget to pair a fine bottle of Port when trying your next cigar! The two were made for each other.