Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Parfait

No one ever said that when you load your pipe, you can use only one blend of tobacco at a time. Well, maybe someone did say it, but if so, he was wrong.

The parfait is made by layering different blends into your pipe. How many layers and how widely divergent are the blends is up to you. There are practical reasons for doing this.

You may have a blend that is difficult to light. You could load your pipe with this blend, and then top it off with a layer of some similar-tasting blend that is more easily lit. This top layer can serve as "kindling" to help get the lower blend burning.

You might have a blend that you enjoy on occasion, but the flavor or the nicotine kick is too much for a full bowl. You can put a milder blend on the bottom and the more potent blend on top, so you can still smoke a full pipe in one sitting.

Maybe you have a blend that tastes fantastic until you get near the bottom of the bowl, and then for some reason just turns sour. Put a layer of something else in the bottom to help shield against the souring effect.

Perhaps you have a pipe that needs to build up some heel cake. Put a blend in the bottom that you know from experience you are able to smoke all the way down, with something else on top for variety.

Or maybe you just want to try the experience of loading two or three different blends into a bowl just to see how the flavors interact with each other as well as your palate as you work your way down.

The possibilities are endless, and you may find that you prefer certain blends when they are layered with other blends. Or, you may not. Like everything else in pipe smoking, success means you enjoy it, and that's all that matters.

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