Drinking Mate In Argentina

by Roni

I was invited to have dinner with some friends of friends while I was in Buenos Aires and they offered me a drink called Mate (pronounced mah-tay). I had never heard of it before and it really didn’t look too appetizing.

One thing I have learned from traveling is that you have to be willing to try different things, even if it doesn’t look appealing to you. Plus, it wasn’t as if I was in a restaurant, I was in someone’s private home and I hardly wanted to be rude so I tried it.

How was it? Well…it wasn’t for me. I didn’t like the taste or the texture but I’m glad I tried it. For me it was like drinking warm grass. Also, everyone shared the glass and straw which was a bit much for me as I don’t like drinking after people.

I mean, I will drink after family (well, some of them) but to put my lips on the straw of someone I just met is a bit much for me.  Thankfully they let me drink out of the straw (which is called a Bombilla) first because in all honesty I don’t think I could have tasted it from the same straw as everyone.

Drinking Mate is a tradition in Argentina that brings family and friends together. They love it and it’s a way for them to bond. People sit around and pass Mate from person to person, all drinking from the same cup and straw.  I think Mate is one of those acquired tastes and maybe if I had tried it more than once I might have liked it. Would you have tried it?

Have you ever tried Mate?

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