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Richard's Diary

May 2011

Ich bin ein Barbequer

By David on May, 17th 2011 - 11:26 am

"Ich bin ein Barbequer"

Whether you are smoking, baking or braising, the month of May is the beginning of the BBQ season. A favorite here at TopCubans.com, the BBQ season is the ideal excuse to light up a fat Cuban cigar to slowly enjoy throughout an afternoon. Do not risk being disappointed; consult the TopCubans.com BBQ procedure –

1. The woman buys the food.
2. The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables and makes dessert.
3. The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill - Habano in hand.

Now, here comes the important part:

4. THE MAN PLACES THE MEAT ON THE GRILL.

Back to the routine...
5. The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.
6. The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is looking great. He thanks her and asks if she will another Cuban while he flips the meat.

Important again:

7. THE MAN TAKES THE MEAT OFF THE GRILL AND HANDS IT TO THE WOMAN.

More routine...
8. The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces and brings them to the table.
9. After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.

And most important of all:

10. Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts.
11. The man asks the woman how she enjoyed ' her night off ', and, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing some women!

// AndyP // September, 22nd 2011 // 11:44 pm

My wife read your barbecue method, and now she refuses to bring me beer on hot days or scotch on cool days. She always brought me my Cubano and my drink, but now she says the rules obligate her to the cigar only. Thanks a bunch!

Problems at Habanos

By Richard on May, 04th 2011 - 12:14 pm

An interesting article recently appeared in the Economist (Smoked Out, 28th April) talking about the numerous problems that currently face Habanos S.A., internally and externally. Although we all suspected that corruption was rife and understood that the production of fakes and back-door-stock in Cuba and abroad was a real issue, it the scale of the problem that is worrying, to say the least. Habanos's Vice-President is now in jail in Cuba on massive corruption charges. The pushing of fakes/back-door-stock is in itself a problem for any smoker or cigar merchant, but the possible reasons put forward in the article behind this production and distribution of fakes/back-door-stock may hide larger, darker reasons. Suggestions of underhand selling of genuine Habanos S.A. stock by Habanos staff 'at a fraction of their normal price to black market distributors in the Caribbean in return for bribes' (up to 45m cigars), has resulted in a market confusion as to the true value of a Cuban cigar. One cannot and must not trust the prices of a shop/site that is pushing parallel distribution products (if you do, you are contributing to the overall problem). The article rightly points out that many online cigar retailers have contributed to this confusion by selling Cubans at 'improbably low prices', a point we have been trying to make on TopCubans.com for a number of years. One can only wonder (or now make an educated guess) where these types of shops/sites get their supply. All this brings us back to the basics. Cuban cigars remain a luxury product and luxury products cost, like it or not. If you want to be sure that your hard earned cash does not go up in imitation smoke, stay away from 'hard discount' Cuban cigars shops/sites. If the deal seems too good to be true, chances are that it will be too good to be true!

Please do not misunderstand me, I'm not saying everyone should only buy from TopCubans.com (there are many excellent web-based shops who work hard to promote the product and inform their clients), I have nothing against fair competition (it makes us all work harder to give you better service and choice of product), but take the time to inform yourself properly before committing. Too cheap - stay away. Price inconsistencies across products - stay away. Irregular supply of standard stock or very few products available (Habanos S.A. carry +/-350 cigar products) - stay away. Unable to contact the retailer or no communication - stay away. Its a complicated game, but with a little common sense and 'head over heart' thinking ($50 savings at purchase becomes a significant loss if you are not smoking the genuine article) you can enjoy Cuban cigars in all confidence. I do encourage you to read the full article and take from it what you will.

Enjoy,
Richard

You can see:
Smoked Out - The Economist Article 28th April

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