Thursday, April 22, 2010

Maté (Uruguay)

We've seen plenty of the popular beverage yerba maté so far in our travels, but nowhere has it been nearly as prevalent as here in Uruguay. It's hard to walk a block through the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo, without passing a Uruguayan with gourd and thermos of hot water in hand happily sipping the infusion through a bombilla, a type of straw that strains the dried leaves as they steep in hot water. They drink it everywhere...sitting on the bus, walking along the boardwalk, lounging on the beach...

One lady--in the spirit of Uruguayan hospitality and kindness we've experienced here--offered us a sip from her gourd and explained to us how despite the widespread popularity of the beverage here in Montevideo, you can't order it in any bar or restaurant, everyone must carry around the gourd and thermos of hot water themselves.

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