Tuesday, 23 November 2010 00:00

Makla Snuff, or Things I put in my mouth for you people

Written by Mick Hellwig
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This is not Swedish Snus.....

Mick Hellwig; tobacco daredevil and authorSince the PACT Act forced NicotineRush to stop delivering nicotine, my new non-snus supplier is MrSnuff.(Late Breaking News. NicotineRush is back in business, shipping is UPS, but Tom is still back!)  MrSnuff’s warehouse is based somewhere inDon't let the Malka El Kantara can scare you. It's pronounced El Kantara; not Al Qaeda. the United Kingdom and shipping times are quite reasonable. Not the 2-3 days I was used to in the past, but one must adapt.

Recently MrSnuff received a shipment of Makla. Makla is a traditional North African tobacco similar to snus or dip. Meaning it is a ground tobacco with lots of moisture, meant to be used orally. I know it’s a bit odd for a nasal snuff store to sell oral tobacco, but Dave, the owner of MrSnuff, tries to keep us interested and procure oddities that we might never find otherwise. The information on Makla is sparse. Most of the search results I found went back to two web stores that sell it. Basically it is popular in North Africa, Algiers, and Moracco. Currently only one company in Belgium makes it for sale on the Internet. I don’t know if there are local North African companies producing it or not.

I purchased 3 of the 5 available varieties of Makla; El Kantara 25gram, Ifrikia 20 gram and Rouge 20gram. Prices were $4-5. The smaller tins were actually metal, the larger 25 gram tin was plastic. Really cool looking tins, and honestly I purchased them more to have the tins in my collection than any true desire to test the tobacco.

Test the tobacco I did. Just for you, my faithful readers. As with most snus the advice “Don’t smell it” holds very true here. These tins of Makla were either very fresh or well Makla Ifrikia moist smokeless tobaccopreserved. The ammonia content was a bit much. By a bit I mean comparable to the inside of the crazy cat lady house down the street. To put it in plain terms it reeked. The El Kantara is mentholated and to my abused nose it was similar to NTSU menthol. The other two are not menthol and just smelled like ammonia. 2 days after opening the tins a lot of the ammonia has dissipated which in this case is a good thing.

The tins are pretty small and upon opening you see a small puck of finely ground moist tobacco, with a few visible stems or larger pieces. It crumbles pretty easily, but is moist enough to handbake. At first I had trouble deciding if this was supposed to be used nasally or orally. After some thought and smelling the tins again I choose orally. I am not putting anything that smells that bad in my nose. NTSU and Taxi snuff are bad enough, Makla smells much worse.

The flavors are very subtle. They make Swedish snus seem bold. There is a flavor. El Kantara is a minty with a bit of the familiar mint burn. The other two are mainly tobacco flavored. I wish I could describe them better than that, but that’s the best I can do. I can barely pick up any flavor at all, and trying to quantify it , for me, is difficult.

One thing I will say for sure is gram for gram these are the highest nicotine tobacco I’ve ever had in my lip. Makla is rumored to be quite strong so I went slowly. ½ way to the first Makla Rouge moist smokeless tobaccoline in my 3ml Icetool was all I used for my first attempt. The initial blast of nicotine faded after a few minutes and I can honestly say I felt the nicotine.

With the El Kantara I was a bit braver and went to a full click of my Icetool. I’ve found that equates to roughly .5 grams. I also found that that .5 grams contained more nicotine than a full 2 clicks of Skruf ES lös. I had to remove the pris after about 20 minutes as it was getting a bit much for me to handle comfortably. I’ll stick with smaller amounts from here forward.

Information as to what is in Makla is hard to impossible to find. I’ve read it contains Nicotinia Rustica, but cannot confirm that. In fact I can’t confirm any scientific information. There is no TNSA data, there are no cancer statistics, there is no expiration dates. Although judging by the seal and looks of the product it would stay moist and usable for a long time.

Is it good to put in your lip? I have no idea. Is it as safe as Swedish snus? I again don’t know. Is it better for you than inhaling burning plant matter? Probably, but don’t quote me on that.

Will I make it a steady part of my rotation? Definitely not. I will buy the other 3 varieties just to have a complete set of tins in the collection. I might buy a couple cans a year, but I doubt MrSnuff will make it a permanent stocking item and it will again be hard to find when he runs out. If you have a taste for exotic, hard to find tobacco products give these a try. If you hate them at least you will have the tins in your collection and the satisfaction of knowing you are one of the few outside of North Africa that have tried them.

MICK HELLWIGStupid Government Disclosure Statement

Tobacco Daredevil
Read 18202 times Last modified on Saturday, 09 November 2013 03:08

1 comment

  • Comment Link Brenden Lucas Friday, 03 March 2017 05:33 posted by Brenden Lucas

    Haha - thanks for that Mick, it sure made me laugh!
    I just bought a tin of Makla Ifrika to try but thought i had better do a bit of research first - glad i did!!

    By the way, i work in the industry and i believe that this is mainly made from re-fermented dark air cured and fire cured tobacco.


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