Unbeknownst to many, the famous cheroot “sigaro Toscano” from Italy enjoys a history that spans over 200 years. In this piece, we’ll take a look at how the beloved cigar came to be, as well as query its Brand Ambassador Michael Cappellini, as to what makes it so very special.
Toscano’s Michael Cappellini knows how to pair a cigar
‘The Greatest Disaster”
The birth of the Toscano cigar dates back to August 1815 to a factory in Florence, Italy where a recent massive downpour of rain had occurred.
The heavy precipitation had impacted several tobacco bales that were being stored within the Manifattura del Granducato tobacco factory. As a result, it had undergone fermentation as local temperatures became warmer with the arrival of summer.
Instead of disposing the ammonia-heavy tobacco in the nearby Arno river, the factory manager kept it out of fear of repercussion by the Grand Duke Ferdinando III.
He decided to salvage the crop and use it to make a cheap cigar.
After fermenting and drying out under the Tuscan sun, the tobacco was effectively repurposed as a rough-hewn looking cigar with a distinctly strong flavor. The cigars were an immediate success and quickly became favored by the people of Florence who began to call it “il stortignaccolo” as a result of its short, lumpy appearance.
Michael Cappellini: “Toscano became immediately popular following what I like to call “The Greatest Disaster”. This was the point in time that Toscano had been harvested and accidentally soaked after a massive downpour to rapidly become one of the greatest and strongest brands in the world. The rich thick leaves, coupled with its natural fermentation and fire curing processes produced a unique and powerful taste that the consumer fell in love with immediately”.
Shortly afterward in 1818, a factory was built for the sole purpose of making Toscanos.
Throughout its 200-plus years of history, Toscanos have been rolled almost exclusively by nimble, delicate hands of women.
Female ‘Sigaraie’ Toscano rollers, mid-19th century