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Mate is a big part of culture in Argentina. Despite the fact that mate is drank all over the country, it is grown and produced only in two northern provinces of Argentina — Corrientes and Misiones. According to the
most recent statistics, Argentina is the largest producer of yerba mate in the world with 56-62%, followed by Brazil, 34-36%, and Paraguay with 5%.
Argentine people love their
hot mate and prefer to drink it traditionally — out of calabash
gourd or using vessels made out of
palo santo wood or
yerba mate in general has a very balanced cut, that includes leaves, stems and powder — so called
con palo. Some of the producers also make versions without stems and much less powder, so called
Pronounced [mah-teh]. Traditional South American caffeine-rich infused drink, very popular in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Southern Brazil (the term
chimarrão is used there more often). It is prepared by steeping dried leaves of
yerba mate in the
gourd. Sometimes the gourd itself is referred to as mate.
A vessel used for drinking
mate traditionally. Usually it is made from a real dried calabash gourd, or
calabaza in Spanish, hence the name. Today the term gourd is used not only to describe a calabash vessel, but any other cup from which mate is being drank (wooden, metal, ceramic, etc.)
South American tree, also known as
Bursera graveolens. Translates as holy stick from Spanish. Palo santo is a popular material for
gourds because its naturally sweet, fragrant and unique smelling wood contributes to the flavor of
South American tree, also known as Carob tree, also known as
Prosopis alba. Algarrobo is a popular material for
gourds because its naturally sweet, fragrant and piney wood contributes to the flavor of
Pronounced [yer-bah mah-teh] (or [sher-bah mah-teh] in
Rioplatense Spanish). Also known as Ilex paraguariensis, a holly plant natively grown in South America, paricularly in Northern Argentina, Paraguay and Southern Brazil (the term
erva mate is used there more often). Yerba mate is used to make a beverage known as
mate in Spanish, or
chimarrão in Portugese. Oftenly, the term yerba mate is used to describe not only a plant, but also a final product of grinding, drying and aging the plant.