In the Alexandre Dumas Count Of Monte Cristo novel ( written in 1844); the main character (Edmond Dantès) was wrongfully imprisoned, escaped from jail, acquired a fortune and set about getting revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment. But, in those days, prisoners did not have rights; they were allowed to be alive but were given little else – definitely no recreational luxuries like a cigar allowance – which makes it seem somewhat strange that some of the world’s most popular cigars are sold under the brand name of Montecristo Cigars. Maybe; they are thinking more about the lifestyle he led after finding the fortune and escaping?
The Novel; Yes – The Man; Maybe
Montecristo cigars originated in Cuba at the Particulares Factory; shortly after one Alonso Menéndez purchased it in 1935. Traditional Cuban cigars have always been hand rolled and the workers carrying out this task were known as “torcedores” – a job that must have carried a certain amount of monotony for those working at it. The Particulares Factory engaged a reader to read out loud from a lectern to the workers as a way of keeping them awake and productive. Alonso intended to introduce a new cigar to the production; and at the time, the readings from Dumas’ novel were so popular with the torcedores that he decided to name his new cigar range as Montecristo Cigars. This new cigar proved to be very popular with consumers in the US, Europe and around the world; almost becoming synonymous for the best of Cuban cigars.
It was French Napoleonic era politics that gave Edmund Dantès all his trials and tribulations; so, it is ironic that Montecristo Cigars should also become embroiled in politics through no real fault of their own. After the Cuban Revolution; all the tobacco plantations and companies engaged in cigar production were nationalized. Cubatobaco became responsible for the growing and production and they exported the cigars through the State owned trading company of Habanos SA; who took over worldwide copyright protection for all existing Cuban cigar brand names (including Montecristo Cigars).
By this time, Alonso’s company had become Menéndez, García, y Cía and they were the pre-revolution owners of the Montecristo cigar brand. Following the revolution, they took Cuban tobacco seedlings to the Dominican Republic to duplicate the successes they had enjoyed in Cuba; so, now, two places were making Montecristo Cigars. Fortunately for them; the US Government does not recognize Cuban copyright; so, Dominican Montecristo Cigars can still be legally sold in the States (but, not in most other countries where only the original Cuban brand name is recognized and protected).
Dominican Montecristo Cigars are readily available from the online store of BnB tobacco at http://www.bnbtobacco.com/series/montecristo/. There is a range of types and flavors for you to choose from; including mixed, sampler packs.