Kinnik Kinnik

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.


10 thoughts on “Kinnik Kinnik

  1. They also didn’t cultivate tobacco as far as I know – they were mostly, if not entirely, nomadic.

    Some were, and some were not. One reason that the Pilgrims took to that area were the 50 to 100 acre cleared fields left by the former inhabitants. Evidently some sort of illness had swept away the Indians, for the most part. Probably a plague brought by a shipwrecked Frenchman, or so story tells.

    They pretty much had the beans, corn, squash pyramid down pat, so some agriculture was known.


  2. Apparently dandelion is also supposed to be good for stomach problems, will help with various infections, is a diuretic and it even helps reduce LDL cholesterol. You can make tea from the leaves and coffee substitute from the roasted root. I think I should reverse my lawn methodology, dig up the grass and cultivate the dandelions!


    • See, we’ve all been brainwashed that the dandelion is a weed, and in fact it is a godsend (I is atheist by the way) so what else is good for us that they tell us all is very bad – Our masters really are a cunning lot.


    • No apparent about it Woodsy. It’s extremely good for your entire digestive system. I thoroughly enjoy the leaves. Great stimulant for a lazy spleen. Sadly a seasonal delicacy.

      Then there’s Garlic. The Koreans have found it does amazing things – again for the digestive system and cardiovascular system.

      Oh and all that semi transparent dry skin that comes off a Garlic. That’s very good for taming a very strong tobacco. Blast it in the coffee grinder and add to tab as needed. .


  3. The Indians certainly cultivated tobacco (and not just Nic. Rustica but a couple of other strains as well- N. quadrivalvis for example). Probably every tribe has its own account of the divine origins of tobacco but here one which even gives instructions for cultivation. Junican linked to it his original article…it’s divinely misogynistic too !

    (Potawatomi Story)


  4. I vaguely recall lettuce is supposed to be soporific. I think the sap exuded when the stem is cut can be dried to a gum and might serve as a soporific smoke. Have to look it up in my old Culpepper.


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