In many South American countries people enjoy a drink called Mate. This is a tea like drink made with herbs and hot water. The herbs almost completely fill the cup and the liquid is sucked through a metal straw.
The drink has been claimed to:
- Help Energize the body
- Stimulate mental alertness
- Aid weight loss
- Cleanse the colon
- Accelerate healing
- relieve stress
- calm allergies
- fortify immune system
- Increase longevity
In Argentina and Uruguay it is quite common to see friends walking down the street with their mate. One holding the cup while another carries the flask of hot water.
How could we visit without trying it out?
Sabrina_Florida was kind enough to prepare Mate for myself and vtnyc. Mate is a very traditional drink for Argentines. At the park, I even saw parents giving it to toddlers.
At first it has a similar taste to green tea but has a bit of a bitter aftertaste. The yerba is packed into the gourd about 2/3 full. Then hot water is poured in. After letting it sit for a bit the first person drinks through the metal straw. When that person is done, more hot water is poured in and the next person takes there turn and so on and so on.
It is not unusual to see people having their mate pots with them. I had the feeling that some of them were drinking litters a day of this typical South American tea :)))
Well, I had tryed it twice once from the pot of the driver of our bus and the other time in Teatro Colone. I needed to go to the bathroom, so I went but I had to wait my turn, there was a guard who was drinking his mate, so he offered to me and one other Bulgarian guy to try it :))). So, it has very specific taste but it is still nice. I would recommend you to try it :)
The picture is not mine, I took it from Yerba Mate Online website. If you are interested to know more about mate you will find quite a lot of info there. I could have my own picture but I forgot to take one before giving as a present the mate pot I bought in Iguassu :)
Argentinians are very friendly people who value friendship quite highly. So they -we- spend many Saturday or Sundays afternoons with their -our- friends having mate at a sunny park.
If you re friendly enough to have some local invite you on such outings, you must take with you cookies or bizcochos or facturas -pastries- or alfajores (like my vt friend Mcdomanski did).
Yerba Mate is the traditional drink for Argentinians. Its origins come from the gauchos (countryside men)
It smells and looks like green tea but it has a more sophisticated ritual behind a normal tea.
To start with, you have to drink mate through a straw called "bombilla" and the container itself is naturally manufactured.
The content is called "yerba mate" and I have to admit that it is very bitter. It took me 21 years to get to know it. Now, I can't do anything without drinking my everyday mate.
Mate function is vital for Argentinians, being the connection between people. No matter where you go, someone will always offer you a mate. It is like the pipe of peace, you share it with all the people in the place.
Mate is a sort of tea that comes from an herb found in the rain forests of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. People in this region have been drinking this stuff forever and while in Buenos Aries, you are sure to see mate souvenirs sold all over town.
To drink it, the server (cebedor) fills the mate (which technically refers to a hollowed out gourd) with the herb (often yerba mate) about 2/3 full. Still with me? Okay. Then, he puts the bombilla (a silver straw with a filter on the bottom end) deep into the herb. Then he pours hot water into the mate over the herb and sips it through the bombilla. . This first drink might be bitter so after the cebedor tries it, he will refill the mate with water and serve it to the others.
There is no caffeine in it, but it is an herb. Is it addicitve? Well, I only tried it once and I'm not addicted!! I had no side effects, but I've been told that some first-timers have felt sick afterwards.
Mate is a very common herb we drink. There is a place where you can taste it 1½ block from my house. This place it's called Cumana. It's address is: Rodriguez Peña between Arenales and Santa Fe. There you have also typical food from Argentina. It's a very nice place.
I am here with Mohsin, drinking mate at Cumana.
You wount have problems at all
but if any douby ask to an agency.
If someone invite you with a 'mate', accept you'll love it!
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