Something about mate (Everything, that would be too much!)
The phrase most often heard after "Hello" is "Would you like a mate?"
I share with you some considerations that I thought were interesting. I suppose many people already know that the name of the yerba mate plant is "Ilex Paraguayensis". It is a tree native to South America, subtropical areas, and Argentina shares the cradle of this noble plant, with Brazil and Paraguay. What they may not know, if they did not visit the producing areas, is that one of the common names is "Jesuit herb", since it was the Jesuit missionary monks who observed and tested the way to begin with the intensive cultivation of the plant.... Before that, the native inhabitants of the place simply collected the branches and leaves from the plants that grew "alone"... well, not so much really... they realized that it was not enough to plant the seeds. It was necessary that they were previously eaten and digested by the local animals (birds, rodents, mammals) to germinate... So they tried, successfully, to mimic the natural effect necessary for germination by breaking, slightly scarifying, the seeds. Thanks to these beginnings, the current plantations of the beverage that the Argentines and our neighbors LIKE the MOST. It is a plant that is not very easy to grow, due to the soil and climate conditions required, but thanks to the research of public and private organizations dedicated to it, we have better genetics and higher production yields. Mate has always been part of the diet of the native peoples of the area. For the Guarani it was "caá" (herb or plant) "mate" (from Quechua, the small pumpkin from which they drank the infusion). Nowadays, we continue with the deep-rooted habit of drinking mate fattened in pumpkin, and it still forms part of the most elementary part of our diet. And we keep very special tastes, which require a lot of care and attention in the processing of yerba mate... And we Argentines are very demanding about that! But this, I'll tell you on the next exit. As with tea, most of the cultivated area for yerba mate is in the province of Misiones, and to a lesser extent, in the province of Corrientes. No, it is not an Argentine national drink (wine has this honor), but it is very popular. In all the houses, there is at least one mate, of any material, to drink and/or to invite visitors. I think that the phrase most often heard after the "Hello" is "Would you like a mate?"... Isn't that right?