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The tobacco's manufacture, a production full of tradition and of a huge economic impact

The main economic source in Andorra nowadays is tourism, but until recently, the country’s economy heavily depended on the tobacco production. A large part of the Principality's inhabitants were dedicated to this sector and were responsible for carrying out an elaborate manufacturing force and full of tradition.

The original production process consisted of seven steps that were done manually: first of all the planting and cultivation of the tobacco leaves had to be done, once the plant was harvested, the leaf was cleaned and selected according to its quality. Then, the fermentation began, which consisted of grouping the leaves into bunches and placing them in piles of five thousand or seven thousand kilograms. These batteries were mosturized periodically to eliminate the acidity of the plant. The process was repeated two or three times to ensure the correct fermentation of the tobacco.

Once the fermentation was done, the mincing began. At first, the grinding of the leaves was done manually, but with the industrial revolution, this was one of the first processes to be mechanized and gained a lot of speed in its realization. Depending on the type of click, he got a sting or a scallop. The bite occurred when the leaf was cut in a square shape and mixed with different types of tobacco according of the product to be obtained. But if the blade was cut in the form of threads, the escafarlata was obtained. Different aromas were added to give a certain flavor or smell to the product.

After mincing, the product to be marketed (tiles or pills, cigarettes or cigars) was manufactured. And once you had the production, you had to pack it up. A good part of the production was packaged in bales and sold to smugglers.

Today, these processes are still in place but are done in a mechanized way.

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