Chimó

COMMON NAMES:

None

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION OF USE:

Venezuela

PRODUCT CONSTITUENTS:

Tobacco leaf, sodium bicarbonate, brown sugar, ashes from the Mamón tree (Meliccoca bijuga), and vanilla and anisette flavoring. The ingredients vary according to the region within Venezuela.

HOW USED:

A small amount of Chimó is placed between the lip or cheek and the gum and left there for some time, usually 30 minutes. The mixture of Chimó and saliva is spit out.

WHO USES:

Children, teenagers, unskilled workers in rural and urban areas. Chimó use has become fashionable in the last 5 years among urban teenagers, regardless of social and economic status.

PROCESSING / MANUFACTURING:

Tobacco leaves are crushed and boiled for several hours, starch and fiber are discharged. The remaining portion becomes a concentrated product, 10 kilos of tobacco becomes one kilo of  “Pasta”. For maturation it is then placed in natural containers, or “taparas”(the dried fruit from Tapara tree), or wrapped in banana leaves. The matured paste is “seasoned” with other ingredients, listed above. Finally packaged in small tins or candy-like wrapped cylinders. Most factories are small.

Chimo

Page updated: 02 Apr 2021