article New York (AFP) – With its rich, dark wood, bright white floral patterns and long, straight lines, the modern cigar looks like a living, breathing creation of art.
But the cigars made from a new species of Colombian tree, known as a gothamic, are being made in factories far from the streets of New York and its environs, according to the New York Post.
A gothacom is a cigar made with Cuban-seed tobacco and a blend of tobacco, a blend that is often sourced from the Colombian jungle.
Gothams are a group of cigars, made by blending tobaccos from different varieties of the same tree, said Jose Raul, an art historian who teaches at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
The trees, native to Colombia and Colombia’s Amazon, have been around since ancient times, said Raul.
The first gothams were made in the 1940s, he said, when the tobacco was cheap and the plant grew fast.
The tobacco was often mixed with the roots of the gothama, which are usually very young.
But nowadays, Raul said, they are being grown in factories that are not far from where most people live.
A recent study in the Journal of Experimental Botany said that some of the earliest gothamas were made with tobacco that was imported from Colombia and that the plant’s roots can grow up to 2,500 feet (700 metres) in length.
The study said it was unclear how many people smoke gothames.
But the researchers suggested that the plants could be growing in factories, as they do in the humid tropics.
“It’s a little bit of a surprise to me that the majority of these factories don’t have a smell,” said Rene Lutz, an assistant professor of plant science at the university who led the study.
“But it’s not a bad thing.
It’s part of our history,” Lutz told AFP.
The cigar industry, Rael said, has grown over the last century, largely thanks to the global trade in the tobacco used to make gothas, and the demand for them has soared.
But there are risks to using tobacco grown in the tropics to make cigars.
“The big issue is how we keep it alive,” Raul added.
“And it’s a big problem that the global tobacco market is still in a really precarious state.
The tobacco market in the Americas is still very small and fragmented,” he said.
Raul said he thinks it’s time for the industry to start paying more attention to the environment, which is often a challenge in the globalised world.
The problem of the tobacco industry is that the tobacco is produced in a very small part of the world, which means it’s very expensive to transport,” he told AFP, adding that the industry should start investing in environmental conservation and climate change policies.”
I think it’s really important that the world takes the initiative to protect these plants.
There are very few of these plants in the world,” he added.