4. Chew

a. Twist
Making a twist for chew begins with whole leaf tobacco (a variety of your choice, or any blend) in high case, from which the thickest portion of each stem has been removed. Several leaves are clamped together at the tip, and twisted tightly, gradually adding additional leaves to increase the length to about 2 feet of twisted tobacco. Continue twisting until the length begins to coil upon itself, leaving an open loop in the middle, with the two ends twisted together. The ends are twisted out to a point, tied together in a knot, or wrapped with the end of a leaf or some string. (Sometimes a wrapper is added to the entire length. This is done by wrapping the first wrapper for as far as it will wrap, then beginning the next wrapper leaf so that it overlaps the previous wrapper leaf for at least an inch or two.) Hang the twist to dry. For use, a disc of tobacco is sliced off with a sharp knife.

Old fashion twist

Old fashion twist, from the southern US. [civilwartalk.com]

b. Loose
A recipe for a loose dip from Jitterbugdude, a member of the Fair Trade Tobacco Forum from Maryland.
1. Pack a mason jar with shredded tobacco to which I have added a salt/water mixture to get it nice and moist (not sopping wet).
2. Cook for 8 hours at 185°F (The time is not that critical so don’t get wrapped around “exactly 8 hours”). I’m not sure why you would want to do a double cook (like they do for snus making) but for a dip, it would be a waste of time.
3. Pour hot tobacco into a large stainless or ceramic bowl, and add glycerin/sweetener.
4. Let cool/age for about a week. (I keep the bowl on a countertop with a lid partially covering the bowl. I fluff up the dip once per day.)
5. After about a week or two, I will separate the dip into smaller batches and add my various flavorings.

Into a large mixing bowl:
Add 3 cups of packed tobacco
Mix 1/2 tsp of salt to 60cc (1/4 cup) of water (You can double the water if you like. It’s an art more than a science.) Add the salt/water solution to the tobacco. Stir well and let it sit for about 20-30 minutes. It will seem very dry at first but after about 20 minutes the tobacco will absorb all of the water.

Place in a small pint mason jar (the flat squat kind), and seal. Place in a crockpot. Fill completely with water. You will need to add weight to the top of the jar otherwise it will float. Make sure your jar is short enough to fit in your crockpot and completely covered in water.

Place in Crockpot, slip in a temperature probe from your Thermostat. Set for 185°F and cook for 8 hrs. I use hot tap water. It’ll take about 2 hours to reach 185° but that’s ok. 8 hrs, for the overall process, is fine.

After 8 hours, use canning tongues (or a thick glove) and remove the jar. Pour contents into a big bowl.

Xylitol 2 tsp
pure sucralose 2 tsp
glycerin 2 Tbsp
Stir with your hands or a fork. Place partially covered on a countertop for 1 to 2 weeks. You want it to dry out some because if it is too wet it will mold. It’ll initially stink. For a cover, I use a fine mesh screen. This allows good air circulation and prevents bugs etc from getting in the container.

After the waiting period, try some. Then add a flavor of your choice. The amount of flavoring to add is very personal. Start light, and add till you like the taste. I store large amounts in the freezer.

Notes: 2 Tbsp of glycerin makes a somewhat dry mix while 4 Tbsp makes a wet mix. I like things sweet, so 2 tsp of pure sucralose might be too sweet for you. You just need to make small batches to find something you like.

Flavorings I like: Wintergreen, Anise, Orange, Maple, and apple-cinnamon.

For a sweetener, I use Xylitol and pure Sucralose. Since I am going to have a dip in my mouth I do not want to use sugar. Xylitol has excellent anti-tooth cavity properties as well as anti-microbial properties (the two being related). You can use any sweetener you want (sugar, honey) but I prefer to make mine sugar-free.

The effect of glycerin is twofold. It has good anti-microbial properties, and it adds a “mouth feel” to tobacco. This means that when you put the dip in your mouth, all the flavor will not be sucked out in 30 seconds.