Mate - Yerba mate

Mate - Yerba mate

NATURE, USES, COSTUMES OF SOUTH AMERICA

The Uruguayans and the mate

Uruguay is one of the largest consumers of yerba mate per capita in the world, if not the largest. Ilex Paraguariensis is the shrub with perennial leaves, from which the leaves are shredded to obtain the yerba mate and the major producers of this grinding are: Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay

Consuming mate is a tradition for us.

The Uruguayan gaucho prepares the mate before the sun rises. Alone or in company, enjoy this dear infusion.

He heats the water in a container and pours the mate into it, even though the thermos is used a lot today. Hydrate the herb with a little water, place the wand in the bowl and then enjoy various "bitters."

The water should be hot, but not boiling. It has to hit the wand, frothing and leaving dry grass on the other side.

In the city, mate is a tradition among Uruguayans. Many begin to enjoy it sweet. A spoonful of sugar on the grass and a few pieces of orange make sweet mate a traditional hot drink. After a while, generally everyone gets used to finally drinking it bitter.

Many usually combine the water of the thermos with the leaves of medicinal plants such as cedar, mallow, linden, etc.

Many good qualities are attributed to the yerba mate: it is diuretic, digestive, antioxidant, reduces cholesterol and pressure. It is stimulating, which is why it is an excellent companion when you need to study at night and not fall asleep, as it also increases the ability to concentrate and decreases physical and mental fatigue.

The herb contains good amounts of potassium, sodium, magnesium and manganese, as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, C and various types of amino acids.

What is different about having breakfast and having a snack with mate? Taking milk, tea or coffee means a short routine of just a few minutes. The mate on the contrary, accompanies us for a good moment, even hours. This allows the family to be gathered around it. Mate is shared, although some prefer to take it alone. Big people usually have breakfast with a cup of milk, then prepare the mate to take it in the morning.

The mate on the riverside (called rambla in Spanish to indicate the riverside of the Rio de la Plata - editor's note), a classic. With family or friends, spending an evening on the riverside, drinking mate and eating biscuits, is a pleasure that almost no Uruguayan ignores.

We love this habit so much that when Uruguayans emigrate, they continue to buy or import from where they are, the dear yerba mate, to continue, that if they were in their country, with this strong tradition.

This custom of the Río de la Plata is gradually spreading to other countries, which are discovering the many benefits of this ancient infusion.

Marita Cornalino Rebollo
Computer science teacher, Uruguay


Video: Meet Lucas Torreira. Yerba Mate Tea Special