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For a number of years now, tobacco has been used to spice up the menus of some of the world’s most elite restaurants. Chefs use whole tobacco leaves to wrap meats like duck in, before smoking them to perfection. (Smokey tobacco-flavored barbeque sauce has been found to be an excellent glaze for this dish (and others), and is served in scores of notable restaurants.) Today, tobacco is even used in making alcoholic drinks. Cigar lounges and smoking dens that serve alcohol are known to cash in on this trend. But this is nothing new. First made in the 18th-century, frontiersmen concocted an explosive blend of bourbon, tobacco, gunpowder and dried peppers. (Your favorite Cigar of the Month Club doesn’t recommend trying this, but we admit we’ve never tried it.) The fine folks who colorfully describe the nuances in wines occasionally use “tobacco-like” in their descriptions. And long gone are the days when paint colors were off white, sunny yellow, and baby blue. Tobacco, a sort of reddish-greenish-brown, is an actual (but rather oddly-hued) paint color. Probably not a best seller right now — or maybe never . . .

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Gale Ford
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