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 Be prepared for an excursion where you do not know when you will be back!

Resurrecting/Rehabilitating Old, Flat Schmalzlers!

Hiya folks!  I may have stumbled on a way to resuscitate old or dried out 'natural' schmalzlers.  To be clear, the best thing to do is jar the schmalzler as soon as you receive it.  However, if this not done and the schmalzler 'goes flat,' nothing will ever fully restore natural (i.e. non-scented) schmalzlers to their original glory.  Nonetheless, the method below may make them nice and enjoyable once again. 

*Please note that, due to discussion post length constraints, I will explain the process in the comments

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You will need:
1 coarse mesh strainer (one where the gaps are about 2mm x 2mm)
1 fine mesh strainer (one where the gaps are about 1mm x 1mm)
Grain alcohol (the 190 proof stuff like Everclear) 
Dark, non-spiced rum (such as Goslings, Cayman Reef Double Black, or, if you're in a pinch, Bacardi Black)
Chocolate extract (extract, not flavoring... I used Flavorganics)
Hazelnut extract (once again, extract, not flavoring... I used Flavorganics)
Food-grade/safe mineral oil (optional)
Saran Wrap
A bowl
A spoon
A cookie sheet lined with non-stick parchment paper (not wax paper)
An oven

Comments

  • Take a pinch of the snuff that needs 'rehabilitation'... is it missing the chocolaty goodness, nuttiness, woody, or molasses-y undertones of the fresh schmalzler?  Is it dry or does it easily draw into the back of the sinus?  Remember these details.

    Next, in a bowl, create a sauce with a grain alcohol base, a splash of the rum, two or three dashes of the chocolate extract, and a dash of the hazelnut extract.  The general recipe/ratio that I used was 3 tbs. grain alcohol, 1 tbs. dark rum, 1/2 tsp. chocolate extract, and 1/4 tsp. of the hazelnut extract.  Her I must stress the use of natural extracts, not flavorings like you see in the baking isle of Wal Mart... the flavorings do not always smell like the taste and often have a chemical-y undertone.  Also, I suggest not using vanilla... the hazelnut and chocolate complement or mimic the fermented schmalzler flavor while vanilla seems to dominate it.  If the snuff feels too dry or draws into the back of the sinus too easily, you can add some food safe mineral oil into the liquid concoction.  I used about 1 tsp., but, at this point, 'less is more' in regards to the oil and extracts.  Still, if there is a particular scent that is most noticeably missing from the old snuff, you can add a little extra to compensate for the loss.

    In a bowl, mix the liquid concoction into the old snuff... bring it to the consistency of stiff cookie dough (not like sludge or runny mud).  Don't just stir... actually mash the tobacco to make sure that there are no dry clumps of tobacco in the mix.  Once you have done this, cover the bowl with plastic Saran Wrap and let it sit for 10-30 minutes.  This will allow the liquid to penetrate all of the tobacco, including the fine tobacco fibers that can be found in coarsely ground schmalzler.  

    Next, warm the oven up to the lowest temperature possible... usually 150-170 degrees Fahrenheit.  

    Dump the schmalzler mixture onto the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.  It will be really clumpy, so, try to break it up a bit and spread it out.  Put the cookie sheet in the oven for five minutes.  Remove it, try to break up the clumps further and spread it around the cookie sheet.  Throw the cookie sheet in the oven for another five minutes. repeat until the tobacco is like an overly moist schmalzler.  

    After this, dump the damp snuff into the bowl.  Pass the tobacco through the coarse mesh strainer back onto the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.  Bake the tobacco for three minute increments and stir on the cookie sheet.  repeat as needed.  Once it reaches the state of being a granulated, slightly moist schmalzler, dump it back into the bowl.  Take a pinch.  Is the flavor too weak?  is it missing something?  If needed, add several drops of the extracts or rum to the tobacco in the bowl (mix it in like the first concoction... stir, mash, and stir!).  If additional extracts are added, pass the mixture through the coarse strainer onto the cookie sheet twice and throw it in the oven for another 3 minutes.  

    Now, with the slightly moist snuff mixture in the bowl, pass it through the fine mesh strainer onto the cookie sheet.  You may have to rub the tobacco through with your thumb.  Then, throw the cookie sheet into the oven for three minutes.  Remove, stir on the cookie sheet, and place it into the oven for another 3 minutes.  Repeat this stir and bake process until the tobacco has reached the proper consistency of a schmalzler.  If in doubt, the texture of the schmalzler will cease changing after each 3 minute baking once the non-oil liquids have evaporated.  

    Finally, let the schmalzler cool.  Then, bottle/jar it up and enjoy!
  • I should note that the use of the oven is optional... given the high alcohol content of the liquid concoction, it will air dry in about a day.  However, I found that the slow, gentle baking method gives the schmalzler a toasty scent on the back end... sort of like  freshly baked bread or cake.

    Also, the use of rum, chocolate, and hazelnut gives the schmalzler an aroma similar to that of Bernard's Fresco or Brasil Doppelt-Fermentiert.  If you go a little heavier on these ingredients, the aroma moves towards Bernard's Klostermischung.  Consequently, aside from 'rehabilitating' flat schmalzlers, the extracts can be used to enhance or steer non-medicated schmalzlers into a more chocolaty, nutty, and/or molasses-y direction.  If you intend to do this, just add the extracts and/or dark rum directly to the schmalzler, 'mash-and-stir,' and pass the schmalzler through the fine strainer.  Bake for two minute increments and stir until you achieved the desired moisture level/texture.
  • mrmanosmrmanos Member
    Very interesting. I keep mine in jars in the freezer and they stay fresh. I'll try this technique if they get dry.
  • nicmizernicmizer Member
    Take to mind this method is a temporary fix. Alcohol period will deteriorate the longevity of tobacco.
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