Most of us all do it and because few of us talk about it, we assume that it is our own secret sacred tradition. Usually around 2am early Friday morning while my wife is out Black Friday shopping and my daughter is asleep, I sneak down stairs and make a special sandwich which I have coined “The Pilgrim.” This sandwich usually consists of anything and everything left over from the feast hours earlier. Usually in a dinner roll (or two) I’ll put butter, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, corn, gravy, sometimes mashed potatoes (or cheesey potatoes but usually there are no more cheesey potatoes.) I sit down in the kitchen and I feast again.
In the past few years now this tradition has become more sacred and more solemn to me and I have since been on the quest to find a cigar to top off and compliment this special occasion.
2009- The first year I paired a cigar with “The Pilgrim” We had invited about 30 friends and family members over and I had brought home a 20 count box of Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 Toros. I overshot how many cigars I needed and decided to light one up while I ate the most sanctified of sandwiches. I found I liked the pairing as the Vintage 1992 if right smack in the middle when it comes to strength and body and allowed the best of both worlds. My flaw was that I had already smoked the same cigar several hours earlier and while it was very enjoyable and smoked great leaving a bit of a nutty taste in my mouth ,it in a way competed with the flavor of the sandwich. I needed something different maybe lighter, maybe something that complimented instead of competed.
2010- I don’t know what I was thinking this year. I was on a very heavy cigar kick and brought home some Liga Privada #9 cigars by Drew Estate. While these cigars are still one of my favorite It went against everything I had been looking for that particular night. The body was so heavy and the diesel-gravel like taste prevented me from even being able to taste the gravy. When I can’t taste my mother’s gravy…something is wrong.
2011- This Year I remembered and I brought home some Zino Classics. This is a much lighter cigar than I normally smoke but I hand selected it special for this night because the soft almost sued feeling Connecticut wrapper leaves a smooth taste on your tongue which seems to stick around much in the manner as peanut butter or cream cheese frosting. All the flavors of the sandwich came across and I was very delighted.
2012- The year of La Flor Dominicana. You see LFD had just created for us (at this time not yet released to the public) our first limited release private label cigar. It was a monster that we called the Meaner Digger, a 10×60 barber pole double ligero. Now I know what you’re thinking and no I’m not that unwise to light one of those puppies up in the wee hours of the morning, instead I smoked a LFD Suave. However, due to smoking a Meaner Digger in the living room with my cousins from 7pm to 11pm earlier, the LFD Suave could have been rolled up sandpaper and I wouldn’t of known the difference. I highly recommend the LFD Suave to anyone looking for a smooth Dominican cigar with a bit of body and a lot of flavor; however, I do not recommend one to someone who at 2am is looking to eat a “Pilgrim Sandwich” and who just smoked one of their 10 inch long double ligeros a few hours earlier.
2013- This year I brought home a CLE Connecticut as I’ve been on a big CLE kick lately and think the things coming out of Christian Eiroa’s new factory are fantastic (Fabricas Unidas). A mild smoke, you can tell it’s by the same guy who blended Camacho however, it differs from Camacho. These Connecticuts have a different aftertaste to them that really grabbed my attention earlier in the year, an almost lemongrass chicken-like taste if you will (try one, seriously, lemongrass chicken.) I enjoyed it this time around and thought it complimented the sandwich well though I think it would be even better with Chinese takeout. Probably will buy another one for New Year’s as I’m getting older and a new tradition of staying in, ordering Chinese food and watching the Twilight Zone marathon has emerged.
Comment below if you A: can think of a great cigar to go with the Pilgrim Sandwich (and why you think it would go well) and/or B: want to confess that you yourself make a similar sandwich and what you put in it. I hope you all had a wonderful, memorable, safe and thankful Thanksgiving!