Argentines and Uruguayans go everywhere with a shoulder bag that protrudes a Thermos. We see one, then two, then ten, and then, during a meeting between friends, we see ourselves handing a kind of shaman’s gourd accompanied by a « tomas mate? » (which means “do you drink mate?”). No reference with your “mate” friend but a Spanish word that you should pronounce “matey”. The thermos actually contains hot water in which we brew the precious mixture of dried leaves (Yerba mate, or “matey” ) and which we then aspire with a metal straw; before recharging it with water and passing it to you direct neighbor. So yes, then you would have, « tomado maté ». This ritual is much more than a moment of relaxation or a tea time with friends! Taking a look at the culture of the Mate in South America is essential to understand how these countries work. When we talk about the “Mate culture”, we mean as well the arboricultural culture, which is a major contributor to the export economy and the promotion of regional products from the south American area, as the traditional culture, a know-how, social behaviors and a South American way of life.
So, let’s have a look at this thousand-year-old drink that seduced both the revolutionary Che Guevara and the Pope, or even Madonna and Maradona!