Argentine national drink mate is drunk from a calabash gourd with silver straw. Argentina, South America.
A vendor shelf offers calabash gourds fitted with silver straws for drinking mate (or maté), the Argentine national drink (known as chimarrão in Portuguese or cimarrón). Mate is prepared by steeping in hot water the dried leaves yerba mate (llex paraguariensis, known in Portuguese as erva-mate), a natural bitter herb. Genetic research on 8000+ year-old archeological calabash seeds (Lagenaria siceraria) found in America suggests that bottle gourds may have been domesticated earlier than food crops and livestock, and, like dogs, were brought by Paleo-Indians into the New World across a then-existing land bridge between Asia and America at the end of the last ice age. Mate was first consumed by the indigenous Guaraní and also spread by the Tupí people that lived in Southern Brazil (Paraguayan territory before the war of the Triple Alliance). European colonizers adopted yerba mate in the Spanish colony of Paraguay in the late 1500s, and in the 1600s, usage spread to the River Plate (Río de la Plata) and onwards to Chile. Buy a traditional mate-drinking gourd at a fun street fair in historic San Telmo ("Saint Pedro González Telmo"), the oldest neighborhood (barrio) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America. Published 2013 in JSE magazine issue #54 in A5 size by Highbury Safika Media, Roggebaai, Cape Town, South Africa.Add to Cart Add to Lightbox Download