Saturday, May 12, 2012
When I was putting together the autographed book program for the ASW store I chose Nick Foulkes' Cigar Style as the best in-print example that my readers might enjoy from his very prolific collection of work on topics related to men's style. As it happened, Nick and the autograph sheets never hooked up and the ASW store is offering the book sans signature this week as sort of an amuse-gueule.
In French cuisine an amuse-gueule is a bite sized appetizer selected by the chef, and that aptly describes Cigar Style in the context of A Suitable Wardrobe. It is a little thing of 80 pages and 60 images, only 6" x 8.5" (15 cm x 21.5 cm), and it is consumed in the reader's equivalent of one bite, most likely while he smokes a cigar. There is a short essay by Foulkes on the history, rites and rituals of the cigar followed by images of cigars, cigar-making and well-known people who, you guessed it once again, happen to be smoking a cigar.
Nick was uniquely qualified to put this project together. The UK does not embargo Cuban tobacco nor restrict travel there and he visits the place so often that they actually give him awards, whether for promoting the place or merely some sort of frequent visitor thing I do not know. For those of us who must make do with tobacco from other parts of the Caribbean basin, Cigar Style is a pleasant reminder of what we are missing.