Mate: A strong herbal tea, Montevideo
It would seem if I didn't mention Mate, I'd easily be lying about visiting Uruguay. Drinking Mate is a past-time hobby more popular, dare I say, than Football?! I mean EVERYONE has their personal, cute mate holder, w/ Silver Straw... and they even carry a nice thermos of sorts for backups.
I didn't try mate. Primary reason for that is that it is an herbal tea known to create gastro-havoc if you have GI problems. And I do, badly... so as Much as I would have enjoyed trying this -- apparently bitter hot herb tea beverage -- I had to pass.
Many places in Montevideo will sell you a wide range of Mate Cups / Holders and thermoses. Some get VERY fancy, but the basic mate Cup is constructed out of a gourd. So it is Biodegradable!
Mate is our national "drug"... It's an infusion made of "yerba mate" (dried and sliced leaves of a plant called Illex paraguayensis) and served in a pumpkin (also called "mate") with hot water; you must suck it with a "bombilla" (some kind of metallic pipe). People have mate in Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, too, but Uruguay is the only country where you will see people having mate on the streets (actually, everywhere...)
The picture was taken when I was one year and a half...
But, between us, I do not like mate at all!!!
(More pictures and info at the travelogue)
El mate es nuestra "droga" nacional... Es una infusión hecha con "yerba mate" (hojas secas y molidas de una planta llamada Illex paraguayensis) y servido en una especie de calabaza (llamada también mate) con agua caliente; se sorbe con una "bombilla" (una especie de sorbete metálico). La gente toma mate en Argentina, Paraguay y Brazil, también, pero Uruguay es el único país en donde verás gente tomando mate en la calle (en realidad, en todas partes...)
La foto fue tomada cuando yo tenía un año y medio...
Pero, entre nosotros, ¡¡¡no me gusta el mate!!!!
(Más fotos e información en el travelogue).
Mate is kind of a tee that almost everyone in Uruguay likes.
To drink mate you need yerba, a mate (where you put the yerba) ,a bombilla (similar to a straw) and hot water.
You will see people everywhere in Montevideo walking around with their termo and mate.
Mate is much more than the drink itself, its great for when friends get together to sip a few mates and talk about anything.
People in Uruguay are either on their way to have mate, are having mate or just came from having mate. Where as most people in Argentina enjoy mate at home with friends, in Uruguay it is everywhere and almost everyone has a thermos under their arm for hot water.
Mate is a strong herbal tea, a great afternoon expierence to share with friends or solo.
and I like it too!
I have lived in Buenos Aires for almost a year now and I thought that Portenos were crazy for their mate but they don't hold a candle to Uruguayans. I still can't totally get ready for mate on the beach though. It's already blazing hot out there in the afternoon and everyone is sipping on there hot mate. That's ok because that means that they left all of the cold Sprite for me.
Le mate est un incontournable en Uruguay, il fait partie de la vie de tous les jours.
Il peut se boire seul, mais c'est surtout une boisson de partage.
Drinking mate is normaly with friend, in a group, seldom alone.
You take it on the street, at a concert, in your car, a great experience not to be missed.
It's a very typical habit in Uruguay and other south-america countries the drinking fo Mate, a local herbal tea. The tea is made by hot water with a very strong kind of herba and it's very popular among all population, young and older.
I tasted and I didn't like it, but everyone has a different taste, so if you have never tried, it worths try, at least just to say you have tried.
Everywhere you look people are drinking Mate, and it is a great tea like drink. It is good after a meal as it seems to help your digestion.