What Food Should You Pair With Cigars?

There isn’t much literature around as to what foods to eat when smoking cigars. That is because it really doesn’t make much of a difference. However, there are some people who believe one should put serious thought in the kind of food they eat with cigars. In this article, we’ll discuss the same.

Complement Each Other

When eating food or pairing meals with cigar, it’s important that the two complement each other. They need not be similar in flavor or complete opposites, but enhance each other’s taste. Either the cigar or the food shouldn’t be overpowering; the objective is to have some balance and synergy. For example, a Petit Corona goes well with Mediterranean tapas. The cheese and olive and other vegetables are wonderfully offset by the mellow and brief smoke. On the contrary, a much comprehensive cigar such as an Oscuro or Maduro nicely balances with a large meal comprising potatoes or steak.

This pairing is similar to how food and wine are stacked up. White wine goes well with lighter food and red wine enhances heavier meals. However, like wine, there is no stone-etched rule when it comes to food and cigars. The goal is not just to relish both experiences, but also bring in enhancements.

Specific Food Items and Cigars

There are some people who smoke cigarettes whenever they eat fish. These are individuals who eat fish when they smoke, and vice-versa. It’s a pairing that clicks with them the most. And this combination is quite understandable as well, otherwise we wouldn’t have been smoking fishes then. This is why people also love barbecuing when smoking. However, smoked turkey, brisket, and ham could overpower milder cigars. It’s therefore important to smoke a more powerful cigar when pairing it with barbecue. Some cigar lovers prefer sausages, meat, pepperoni and salami instead of olives, crackers, and cheese. Fruits such as grapes are options too.

Some people stay away from solid food completely when smoking. They go with liquids instead. This is because both food and smoke require some level of focus. When pairing them together, it’s multitasking at some level, which may not be to everyone’s liking. Drinking, on the other hand, complements a tobacco.

Generally, desserts or sweets usually don’t go well with cigars and that’s because there are two extremely different flavors at play. However, there are certain dessert exceptions such as bittersweet, dark chocolate that can complement cigars. Otherwise, regardless of how good the tobacco quality is, most desserts do not partner with tobacco well. This is also because a cigar is a dessert replacement for many and pairing them together really defeats the purpose of both a dessert and cigar.


As aforementioned, a particular food-cigar pairing may not work for all. Every individual has different tastes and perceptions. Try the combinations mentioned earlier and find out if they work for you. If they don’t, you may do some exploring yourself. Start by picking a cigar you like and try out food items you prefer. This trial-and-error method should help you find the right combination.  Visit Michael Asimos on Vimeo for more cigar advice.

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