Posted by & filed under Feast with Me.

I will admit to a very bad past of being a cigarette smoker. I had just moved to Paris and it seemed that those moody, picturesque cafés, sipping espressos while mulling over my insignificant existence was the perfect setting smoking cigarettes. Ugh terrible habit and probably one of the worst things you can do to your body. I am proud to say that I quit on August 15, 2010 cold turkey and have never looked back since. I do however indulge once in a very blue moon in a nice cigar. (That’s of course if I’m not expecting nor breastfeeding which has been my life for the past two years.) I have always loved the smell, the sexy smoke wafting in the air dancing under a single light in a dark room. How perfect of a match it makes with some cognac and dark chocolate. I’ll never forget that evening in Berlin, in the warm embrace of a cozy fireplace, where the universe conspired to bring exemplary versions of those three things together: the exquisite nectar – Henessy Paradis, a velvety artisanal dark chocolate with sea salt and a really luscious cuban cigar.

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My husband has also quit cigarettes for several years now but his little guilty pleasure is enjoying a cigar once in awhile more often than not with a glass of armagnac. One of my absolute favorite birthday gifts I’ve given him is a beautiful humidor with his family crest and a personal inscription made by the charming guys behind Tabaqueria. Personalized humidors, cigar boxes and cigars have been a favorite present for special occasions and special people. They do it so well and have so many options.

There was a time however where we didn’t have a proper humidor but people kept gifting us with fine cigars. SInce we don’t really smoke them that often, sadly some would dry out. I’ve asked my favorite cigar expert, Roman Ripoll to give us a few tips on how to keep your cigars nice and fresh, even if you don’t have a humidor.

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How to keep your cigars fresh by Roman Ripoll:

“The best way to keep Cigars is to have them in a humidor. Basically, you want to maintain a 70% – 70% range of humidity and a temperature of 23 degrees Celsius or 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, it’s important to not place cigars in direct sunlight or under a spot light. Typically, cigars don’t go “bad” they dry up over time if not stored properly. Inside all humidors there is a sponge pad where you must place a fluid in order to generate humidity.

Some people like to use Whiskey or rum or other types of alcohol but for me, the best is to use distilled water. It’s clean and you will be able to appreciate the real taste of the cigar without altering its flavor.

One other alternative you can use if you don’t have a humidor is to put your cigars in a tupperware container. The tupperware is not the nicest looking cigar container but because it’s air tight, it will keep the humidity quite well.”

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