How to Cure the Gourd / Mate
CURING THE MATE GENERAL INFORMATION
It is called "curar el mate" (cure the maté) to the process of adapting this container to the infusion that it will be destined to hold.
Only those made of porous materials admit this process (especially and par excellence those made with a hollowed out calabash), since their inner walls will be able to be impregnated with the "spirit of the yerba" making the infusion to mature with an intimate antique touch, as appreciated by the experimented "matero" as the quality of the yerba itself.
There are two steps in the process of curing the maté: the curing itself and the usage which improves the curing as time goes by.
The act of curing the maté has two purposes:
A) Removal of interior skin:
B) Process of adaptation:
1) REMOVAL OF INTERIOR SKIN:
It consists of eliminating the soft skin of the inner walls of the calabash. (In the case of the matés made of wood or any other porous material, this process is nor necessary)
The New calabash is filled with a used and wet brewing, taken from a maté in use, preferable bitter. Then, a squirt of hot water is poured and it is left resting during one day. When that time is over the yerba is removed and the calabash is well rinsed. Then the inner walls are scraped with an appropriate object to take off the soft skin, almost loose by the maceration effect. Once this process has been finished, it is rinsed again with plenty of water and the operation is repeated from the begining.
2) PROCESS OF ADAPATION OR "CURADO":
It is previous to the type of infusion that it will be destined to hold
DO THE FOLLOWING STEPS
a) Galleta (bitter maté): fill it up with a new brewing, then add boiling water and let it rest until the following day.( 24hrs.)
Empty the maté and rinse it with water.
The strong infusion provoked by the boiling water will impregnate the walls of the "galleta", which will be ready to be used.
There are people who repeat this operation for two or three days, and sometimes is better this way. It allows a better impregnation of the inner walls
INSTRUCTION FOR THOSE WHO WILL DRINK SWEET MATE
b) Poro (sweet maté): Put two or three teaspoons of sugar and quickly add a well lit ember. Cover the mouth of the maté and shake it energetically so that the sugar is burnt.
The sugar and the smoke of its combustion sweeten and scent the bark of the "poro".
CURING THE MATE STEP BY STEP
STEP # 1
Fill the calabash with a used and wet brew, taken from a maté in use,if you have one, preferably bitter
STEP # 2
Pour a squirt of hot water and it is left resting during one day.
STEP # 3
Remove the yerba.
STEP # 4
Rinse the calabash
STEP # 5
Scrape the inner walls with an appropriate object to take off the soft skin, almost loose by the maceration effect.
STEP # 6
Fill it with a new brew, then add boiling water and leave it to rest till the following day. Rinse again with plenty of water and the operation is repeated from the beginning.
Now you are ready to Go!
Drink Mate four five times a day, for breakfast, midmorning, after lunch, after supper and late in the evening.
If going out on a trip, Get yourself a ThermoBottle with hot water and carry the mate with you. If Driving, train your copilot to serve or "cebar" mate while you enjoy the driving
In Argentina most of us carry a MATE EQUIPMENT in our car when traveling that consist of:
A stove furnace like a " Coleman" or similar
A Stainless Steel or Aluminum Kettle
A Thermo Bottle
A package of Yerba Mate of your preference.
A gourd or two.( just in case )
A bombilla or two.( Just in case )
A Bottle with plenty of Fresh Water to heat.
A pot of sugar ( if you like sweet mate - I don't - Bitter is Healthier!)
America has wonderfull and beautiful REST AREAS build on its Highways all accross the Nation.
To stop on a Large Trip , heat some water, and either drink some mates there or keep going will shorten the trip like you can not imagine!
Now after this humble advise, enjoy and be healthy and happy!