Storing cigars in their boxes

 

Reader’s question: “I have 10 boxes of Cuban cigars that I want to age for at least 2 years. Should I leave them sealed in their boxes as they came or should I take them out of their boxes before storing them in my humidor? Which is the better option?”

What people do differs a good deal, but it depends in part on how long you plan to leave your cigars in the humidor. If you won’t be keeping them in there for all that long (a few weeks or a month), you can probably just pop the box right in and leave them there. It’s highly recommended you take off the outer layer of cello first since this allows more of the humidity to seep into the box. In fact, you don’t need to keep your cigars in the box at all. Some people take them right out and just put them in the humidor individually. The main reason to keep the box in the humidor is simply for organization.

Another option is to keep the cigars in the box (with the cello layer removed), store them in the humidor, and then prop them open, either all the time or once a week or so. You don’t need to prop them open wide, just wide enough for the humidity to seep in. You can use a match or anything else to wedge the boxes open just slightly, and then the humidity from the humidor can easily get inside. You can store your cigars indefinitely this way.

Future of Food

 

Former Microsoft Chief Technology Officer, Nathan Myhrvold, may have a PhD in physics – but it’s his love of cooking that has captured his imagination.

“After being at Microsoft for a number of years, I said…I’ve got all of these degrees in things I don’t do – but I cook a lot, why don’t I actually try to go to cooking school?”

Nathan not only attended cooking school, he authored what is arguably one of the most influential cookbooks in recent memory. “Modernist Cuisine” is a 2438-page tome detailing a new approach to cooking. Its premise? That an understanding of science and how it applies in the kitchen will change how we prepare common foods.

The modernist cooking movement involves tools like combi-ovens, versa-whips, sous-vide cookers, and pacojets. With them solids can be turned into liquids – liquids into foams – and foams into airs. Take peanut butter and jelly. Why have sandwich when you can make peanut butter powder and jelly noodles?

The modernist kitchen also features new ingredients. Marc Lepine is one of only a handful of Canadian chefs who practices modernist cooking. His kitchen contains an assortment of atypical ingredients.

“We’ve got ascorbic acid, versawhip, agar agar, there’s our xanthan gum, Ultra-Tex 8, locust bean gum, iota carrageenan, Methocel K100,” he lists.

In Marc’s Ottawa restaurant, two such ingredients are combined for a technique called spherification. That’s when you turn a liquid, in this case a gispatcho soup, into balls that burst when you eat them.

“The calcium that I’ve added to the gispatcho reacts with the sodium in the water, and form a gel all along the outside. It’s gispatcho soup on the inside (and) it’s encapsulated in a gispatcho jelly on the outside.”

Still, Nathan Myhrvold admits modernist cuisine is not without its detractors.

“Some of those people say isn’t this all artificial and weird, and we say no. We are celebrating these ingredients in a way that you just can’t without all the rest of this equipment.”
© Global News. A division of Shaw Media Inc., 2012.