Cuban Counterpoint: Tobacco and Sugar, by Fernando Ortiz, translated from the Spanish by Harr

“Like sugar, tobacco has to go through a series of physical and biochemical phases, such as cutting, sweating, drying, curing, press, and combustion; like sugar it, too, needs the heat of fire to yield its substance, and it gives off a refuse of waste and ash which are its bagasse and settlings. But the operations involving sugar consist of machete strokes, shredding, crushing, boiling, dizzy rotation, and continual filtration and separation, while those having to do with tobacco are all delicate and caressing touches,

Posted February 24, 2003

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