One of the questions most commonly asked by newcomers to the world of snuff is how best to store snuff. Here I shall be exploring the various options for both short and long term storage of snuff.
The Public Enemy Number 1 for snuff is air, as strange as that may sound. On exposure to the air fresh snuff rapidly dries out and loses much of its flavour, becoming stale and unpalatable in weeks if not days, depending on the climate. There are two solutions to this problem, the use of oils in place of water for moistening the snuff and effective storage. English snuffs are not allowed by law to use the former but in other countries various substances may be used. In Germany many snuffs are moistened with small amounts paraffin oil (in place of the lard that was once employed) and in India ghee (clarified butter) is often used. The result is that the snuff dries out far more slowly than if just water is used to moisten the snuff.
But here we need to examine the options for effective snuff storage rather than the use of other moistening agents and we are concerned with how things are now rather than how they may have been in the past.
So where does this leave us for storing our snuff? Small containers really need to be kept in something else that is airtight. Ziploc bags provide a short term solution and Tupperware boxes (or similar) can work well for even longer periods, but even then, metal tins, unless of aluminium, have a habit of rusting, spoiling the snuff inside and there will usually be some loss of moisture and flavour over time. Far better to decant the snuff from the retail packaging into something better. Better would be glass jars with airtight lids or even food jars suitably cleaned as long as they seal well enough. Softer plastics tend to retain flavours (and are not totally airtight - the air does slowly migrate through the plastic) so containers made of those are less good for the purpose. Hard plastics are much better, but glass is probably the best material for such storage.
Ideally we don't really want to open those large drums even as often as once a day so an even better solution is to have an intermediate stage in the process. This involves the use of smaller airtight glass jars or aluminium tins or tubes holding 25g or 50g (1oz or 2oz) of snuff. These are filled from the bulk drum and in turn they are used to fill the snuff box. Simple! Toque 25g screw top aluminium tins and Fribourg & Treyer 25g or 50g aluminium tubes are perfect for this and indeed, they are what I use for the purpose.