What is Chewing Tobacco and How Many Kinds Are Available?

April 5, 2022

chewing tobacco Dip

Dip is simple, but the etymology can confuse some folks. Smokeless tobacco is called as such because, rather than burning the leaf and inhaling the smoke, the tobacco is consumed orally sans smoke. It’s called either chewing tobacco because the pinch of leaf is placed in one’s mouth, much like any other type of oral consumable that one chews, but rather than actually chewing it, the pinch of leaf is placed between the lip and the gum. 

If you’re doing it differently, our hats are off to you, yah wildcard. 

It’s also called dipping tobacco because the pinch of leaf is often referred to as a dip. It can be a verb. It can be a noun. Around here, it’s a way of life. But rather than using actual tobacco leaf or stem, Black Buffalo creates products with a variety of edible green leaves derived from the lettuce family.

Call it dip. Call it chew. Call it a smokeless tobacco alternative. We call it a revolution. 

Types of Dipping Tobacco

If you’re like us, you’ve tried every possible variation of smokeless tobacco out there. OK, maybe you haven’t tried everything, but we certainly did before charging ahead with Black Buffalo. But that’s another story

Over the years, folks have categorized the different types of smokeless tobacco a whole bunch of different ways. Every few years, a new form of consumption hits the market to challenge the traditional ways of thinking about chew, furthering the debate among dippers like ourselves. 

At Black Buffalo, we break it down into two forms: long cut and pouches. 

Long Cut is loose leaf product. It’s called long cut because, you guessed it, the cut of the leaf is in longer strands. The portion of long cut one dips is determined entirely by the preference of the dipper; i.e., the pinch. Some dippers prefer packing smaller pinches of long cut, which of course extends how long the can will last and reduces the total nicotine consumption per pinch, while others prefer larger pinches. Totally up to you, boss. We support you either way. 

Pouches are finely cut leaf packaged and consumed in little vessels called, what do you know, pouches. Technically, pouches are considered a form of snuff or snus, which in themselves a category of smokeless tobacco, just finely cut or powdered leaf rather than the long cut of traditional chew. At Black Buffalo, we don’t offer loose leaf, fine cut products. Our only loose leaf products are our long cut alternatives. So, we don’t market our products as snuff or snus, which are traditionally consumed as loose leaf. Instead, we just call our pouches products exactly that … pouches. The same base leaf as our long cut, but just packaged in those little dip pillows from heaven and consumed very similarly to our long cut: placed between the lip and gum. Pack one pouch, pack two … at the end of the day, you do you, boss. 

Some dippers don’t deviate from long cut. Others only prefer pouches. Lots of members of the herd (this Dip Angel among them) love ‘em both. Maybe long cut for home and on the road, but pouches when out and about. Tell us how you charge ahead. 

History of Smokeless Tobacco

Smokeless tobacco started with the Native Americans way back in the 1400s. They indigenous people of what is now North and South America were chewing tobacco long before Europeans began to arrive in the new world. 

Later on, as the British colonies began to form, tobacco was a staple crop grown in the southern colonies, and even into statehood, tobacco ended up creating a large number of jobs in Virginia and North Carolina.

Chewing tobacco was so universal back then, that nearly every man would be chewing tobacco, and they would spit freely when alone, and into their own hands in public as to not be an offense to other people. Meanwhile, saloons, bars, inns, and other businesses would be well stocked with spittoons to allow their patrons to spit when needed when chewing indoors. In fact, even the pews in the local churches were known to have said spitting receptacles installed. 

At that point in history, smokeless tobacco was at its height. In fact it reached its peak around 1910 as pipes and cigars began to grow more in popularity, but it is still around to this day, and is set for a sort of renaissance in the form of smokeless tobacco alternatives, that provide the same great flavor dippers love, but without the tobacco leaf or stem.

Flavored Dip

Dip is available in a lot of flavors. Traditional smokeless tobacco had just one – tobacco – but traditional brands call it lots of different things. Classic, Traditional, Natural. Because Black Buffalo does not contain tobacco leaf or stem, none of our products taste like tobacco leaf or stem (seems obvious, but mainly the flavor of tobacco is incredibly hard to replicate without actually using tobacco). 

Flavored dip includes basically everything other than tobacco flavored, which is often considered unflavored dip. Black Buffalo only offers flavored dip, including the most popular flavors among traditional smokeless products: 

Wintergreen: Black Buffalo's Wintergreen tobacco alternatives feature a bold, bright wintergreen flavor 

Mint: Black Buffalo's Mint tobacco alternatives feature a crisp blend of peppermint and spearmint with just a hint of sweet

Straight: Black Buffalo's Straight tobacco alternatives delivers a true straight tobacco flavor.

Peach: Black Buffalo's Peach tobacco alternatives feature a bright and crisp flavor with a mellow touch of vanilla

Blood Orange: Black Buffalo's Blood Orange tobacco alternatives feature rich citrus flavor with hints of raspberry and smoke

Tobacco Dip Alternatives

We believe that when it comes to your tobacco dipping habit, you should not have to compromise. We believe you should be able to have everything you like, and nothing that you don’t. So we use a proprietary blend of all-natural, edible, food grade leaves to produce our tobacco dip alternatives. 

Black Buffalo products provide all of the same taste, buzz, and burn that you are used to, but without the things you don’t like in traditional chewing tobacco. Our dip alternatives come in both long cut and pouches, in several different flavors. 

Find your flavor on our Shop page, and welcome to the herd. 

Buy Dip