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    February 24, 2012

    I took this picture when we were at the escogida, or sorting house, in San Diego de los Baños. The workers in the image are selecting the tobacco based on its size and physical condition. This stage, one of the many selective stages throughout the whole process of making a cigar, is the last one before the tobacco is sent to the factory.

    The escogida, or sorting, is key in bringing out the full potential of the attributes of the Cuban tobacco. It is here where, as James said in the documentary, texture, strength and size are defined. The tobacco, before reaching the rollers’ hands, goes through numerous selective processes.

    These selections are undoubtedly an essential ingredient for the success of the Cuban Cigar; it reflects passion and dedication for the quality, which is a source of pride for all who participate in the making of a cigar. Here in this sorting house, this is clearly expressed on the wall at the end of the room, with the inscription, "Our tobacco; the best of the world.” And silent, yet poignant authority overlooks it all so that no one forgets what’s in their hands.

    -Jacobo Garcia Andrade Llamas

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