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Cuba's 15th annual cigar festival a resounding success

Cigar aficionados from around the world gathered in Havana last week to celebrate Cuba's 15th annual Habano's Festival. The Caribbean island has long been celebrated as the producer of the world's finest cigars and participants were treated to celebration of the Cuba's legacy including visits to leading plantations, a master class on the cigar rolling technique and a special Tobacco and Gastronomy cooking show.

Cuba's 15th annual cigar festival a resounding success

Reports following the 15th annual edition of the Habano's Festival indicate that the popular event was yet another success. Held between the 26th February and the 2nd March 2013, cigar aficionados from across the globe converged in Havana to celebrate the Caribbean island's revered cigar.

Cuba has a longstanding reputation for producing the finest tobacco in part because it has been using the same handmade method since the mid 19th century. This year's festivities were dedicated to two of the leading Cuban cigar brands: Montecristo and Partagas.

The high profile event did attracted guests from over 70 different countries including international celebrities such as former tennis star Boris Becker, Belgian TV star Goedele Liekens and Dario Balzanelli the tenor that many have described as the next Luciano Pavarotti. Some of the highlights included:

  • Visit to leading tobacco plantations in Cuba
  • Visit to Habanos factories
  • Trade Fair
  • Tastings
  • Master class on the cigar rolling technique
  • Habanos blind tasting

However, it was the "Tobacco and Gastronomy" cooking show that set tongues wagging as it was the perfect marriage between two of Cuba's greatest assets- premium cigars and mouth watering Cuban cuisine. Participants watched in awe as Croatian chefs Grugur Baksic, Zoran Simunic and Pantelija Pekic prepared a series of tobacco infused treats from bread to stone bass filets and even ice cream. Of the haute couture dishes Baksic noted, "It's like how you can put chili on a sweet or a sour, you can put honey on a fish and on a fruit and on a meat...something that is good is always good. You cannot make a mistake".

On the final night of the festival the Cuba Cigar auction was held raising more $1.1 million, thanks to the sale of six crafted humidifiers each containing between 350 to 550 of the finest Cuban cigars including brands like H. Upmann, Hoyo de Monterrey, Romeo and Juliet and Sagardelos, Partagas, Montecristo and Cohiba. As has been the case in previous auctions, the proceeds all went to the Cuban public health care ministry.

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