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This question came up in discussion and I realised that I have absolutely no idea how tobacco has been cured traditionally, or if it even was. My research hasn't turned up much except variations on modern curing techniques. Does anyone know how it is/was done? I've read of tobacco being used in aya ceremonies and so on - but always about how it is used, never about how it was prepared. Someone told me that some South American people dry the leaves in the smoke over an open fire, which sounds like it would make an interesting product, and I read that other countries just dry them out in the sun, but these methods seem very different from modern commercial curing which needs high humidity and a long aging period. I suppose I'm wondering if the idea of slow-fermented tasty tobacco is relatively modern, or if there are traditional equivalents?