How to prepare Mate
Mate is one of these drinks that either you hate or love. Its robust taste makes it difficult to experiment for the first time. But once the flavor has been in your mouth couple of times (and with the help of some additions like honey or orange zest), you’re going to enjoy it as much as I did (and I still do). Want to know how to prepare Mate? Check out the video in this post.
What does it have to do with Cooking?
Even though this is a blog about cooking, it’s also a blog about people and traditions in the countries I’ve been visiting. So I couldn’t leave Argentina without speaking about this big tradition. It’s essential to mention that this is a Guarani tradition and it’s widely consumed not only in Argentina. Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia, and Brasil are also big mate consumers. Its origins are from the area that today is Paraguay, but today, Argentina is the country that has the most massive production of mate in the world.
Some of my good Argentinian friends introduced me to mate during my Argentina nomadic stay. That’s why I decided to make this video to share how to prepare Mate. Special thanks to Martín (Elliot Troyó) who had me and dedicated some of his time to talk about mate.
What is Mate?
There’s an important clarification about the name of the drink. The actual pot name is mate, and the herbs, are usually called “yerba” (herb in Spanish). Nevertheless; people always say; “Vamos a tomar unos mates” (let’s drink mates). So, mate is the name of the pot and the infusion. “Bombilla” is the name of the metal straw that people use to drink it.
So, the yerba is a plant (Ilex paraguariensis) that grows in South America. Sunlight takes care of drying the leaves. After crushing them, they are ready to fill the mate. Materials used to make mates are wood or some varieties of pumpkin (calabaza).
There are other versions of mate drunk especially in Paraguay and the north of Argentina, known as tereré.
In the video, we are going to learn from Martín, how to prepare Mate and get ready to enjoy it. He’s going to explain to us some of his experiences with some of his Spanish students from other countries when they try Mate.
As Martin mentions in the video; depending on who you ask, there are thousands of ways to do it, and they are all probably valid. Just enjoy it along the conversations and time spent with your friends or family. Consider getting it with some alfajores.
Did I miss anything? Is anything from the video wrong? I know this is a controversial topic. Regardless, if you have any comment or anything to add, please share it on the Youtube video page.