August 5, 2011

Mate: Argentine Green Tea

In packing, we came across an old box of photos. These were taken 10 years ago when my friend Lisa came down to visit me in Buenos Aires for Christmas. At the time we lived in a little apartment downtown. During her stay we took an excursion to the coastal town of Mar del Plata for New Year's. We drank lots of mate (pronounced MAH-tay)!

Wikipedia explains mate better than I have time to do right now:

"The infusion called mate or chimarrão (Brazil) is prepared by steeping dry leaves (and twigs) of the mate plant in hot water, rather than in boiling water. Drinking mate with friends from a shared hollow gourd (also called a guampa or mate in Spanish, or cabaça or cuia in Portuguese, or zucca in Italian) with a metal straw (a bombilla in Spanish, bomba in Portuguese) is a common social practice in Argentina and southern Brazil among people of all ages; the beverage is also popular in Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru and Chile, eastern Bolivia and other states of Brazil, and has been cultivated in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

 The flavor of brewed mate is strongly vegetal, herbal, and grassy, reminiscent of some varieties of green tea. Some consider the flavor to be very agreeable, but it is generally bitter if steeped in boiling water. Flavored mate is also sold, in which the mate leaves are blended with another herb (such as peppermint) or citrus rind."

So, here is my time with Lisa in mate pics:

serving mate for breakfast in our little apartment

sleepy Lisa trying mate

passing the mate around between friends
lady drinking mate on the beach in Mar del Plata
Well, that all for now - back to packing! I have more old pics to post - coming soon.


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