When the Dutch had to stop selling opium to the Indonesians -because other countries considered it improper-, they decreed a monopoly for cigarettes, in 1913.
Only Dutch made cigarettes were allowed to be sold, though tobacco came from here.
But nobody could afford them, of course.
So some smart Chinese discovered : clove also acts as dope and is addictive, so they stuffed cigarette-paper with it.
Traditionally, kretek consists of two parts tobacco and one part spices.
They derive their name from the crackle, that one hears when the ethylic oil is burnt.
Indonesia is the only country on earth, where they smoke this and 92% of the sold cigarettes are “kretek”.
Don’t say they are cheap : most people can only buy 5 packages, considering their salaries, per day, but often smoke 2….
There are three big tobacco-factories. And, as long as they don’t buy machinery, they are subsidized by the Government.
All three are situated in Kudus, West Java, where the cigarettes still are made by hand.
The tobacco culture is mainly situated around Jember in East Java.
And the district-governor, a few years ago, held a big pro-smoking campaign, because millions of his subjects
get their income from the tobacco.
The only one in the world, I presume.
The name “kretek” is derived from the small thuds one hears when a clove ignites..