You can’t yet get this flavour for Electrofag and if you ever do, I’d recommend diluting it!
I have a sample of Kinnick Kinnick courtesy of Junican, whose post on the subject made clear that the flavour is very strong. It is.
For a first try, I did what I do when ‘spicing’ up cigs with pipe tobacco. Half-fill the tubing machine, put a thin line of the strong stuff down the middle, then finish filling.
As a ‘spice-up’ it’s very pleasant, but I think a whole cig of it would be like a whole cig made of pipe tobacco. A bit too much. I think it has oregano and thyme in it and other things too, but those were the flavours I seemed to be getting on this first try.
In about 1981, I tried a pack of herbal cigarettes because they were a lot cheaper than real ones. I didn’t finish the pack, they were dreadful and the ends looked like they had moss growing on them. This Kinnick Kinnick is similar – but diluted, it’s good. I suppose it’s the difference between adding onion to a stew or just biting into an onion as if it was an apple (my grandfather could do that and took delight in watching people’s faces when he did so).
The pack does say it’s smoked in pipes so treating it as pipe tobacco seems right. I think I’ll give it a go with a small pipe – possibly mixed with something mild like Virginia to bulk it out and to slow the burn. It’s a dry mix for a pipe, it would need something with a long stem to let the smoke cool before it reached you or it’d burn your throat.
That might have been the problem with those old herbal cigarettes. Maybe they took an old American Indian herbal recipe and stuffed it into cigs. Well, the American Indians did not have cigarettes, they had pipes. With small bowls and long stems. They also didn’t cultivate tobacco as far as I know – they were mostly, if not entirely, nomadic. So they’d pick wild tobacco and they’d have tried many other things too before settling on a mix they liked. Nothing commercial here, no mass production, it’s possible that each individual had their own preferred mix.
Always in a long-stemmed pipe with a small bowl though. I must get one. It looks like we are heading back to those days. Not necessarily a bad thing, the commercial cigs are all a bit ‘samey’ these days and heavily processed too. Everyone has different preferences so having bags of herbs (including tobacco) then mixing up your own blend sounds like it’ll make smoking a much more interesting thing.
I’ve already grown thyme, oregano, rosemary and mint in my garden so I know I can get those. Parsley does pretty well here too. And I still have a few chillies in the freezer.
I think I’ll dry a couple and grind them. That could be interesting.
Lettuce though? Well, if it works, lettuce is cheap so would make a great bulking-up addition to the limited tobacco crop I can get here. The leaf centre stems are pretty thick, might have to take those out before drying. There is a wild lettuce that isn’t much good to eat and wild plants don’t tend to need much looking after, so that might be a better option Indeed, the dandelions in my garden get no care at all and are actively hunted down and killed and it seems to do them no harm.
Then again… dandelion leaves are edible. Are they smokable? You can make wine with the flowers and you can eat the roots like parsnips. They are unstoppable, so maybe they can be useful. Maybe they are the perfect do-everything plant and we’ve ignored them for too long!
Wouldn’t that be great? A plant that not only grows with no care at all but also is impossible to eliminate, turns out to be free food, booze and smokes. You can also feed it to rabbits or better yet, let wild rabbits eat some and then eat the rabbits. Just sit back and watch the weeds grow. Now that’s living!
I think I read somewhere that the Victorians had cultivated varieties of dandelion for everything but smoking but can’t be certain. I’ll try to remember where I read that.
To think, just before the smoking ban, all I knew was shop-bought tobacco. And it was getting boring…
*UPDATE – It’s Kinnik Kinnik. There’s no ‘c’ in it. I’ll have to re-educate my eyes. Or sober them up.