“Mate” and tango
Updated: Feb 26
Do you want to go to the park and have “un mate”? Yes the “mate” is ideal for sharing a moment with friends and getting together. It can also be shared with strangers, and of course alone. It's like going for a coffee at the local bar, except that for “un mate” you have it wherever you want. In a park, on the sidewalk, at home, at work, the “mate” accompanies you, it is part of everyday life.
We call “mate” the mate herb, the "yerba mate" which looks like tea, and also the container in which we will pour the “yerba mate” to drink it. The drink is also called “mate”. And what you use to drink your "mate” is called a "bombilla", that is to say a kind of straw. The container can be a calabash (the most traditional), or a wooden or metal container.
The “mate” can be taken "amargo" without adding anything to it, or "dulce" with the addition of sugar or honey, or "saborizado" with orange or lemon peels. Some people add "yuyos" which are herbs like verbena, lime, mint, boldo and many more. They bring their scents to the “mate” and the properties that go with them (digestion, relax, circulation, etc.). The purists will recommend you “un mate amargo”, definitely a must!
What about the cold “mate” !? It is called the "terere". Replace hot water with fruit juice such as orange juice or grapefruit. It's often warm out there!
To anyone planning to travel to Argentina, I really recommend you to try the “mate” experience! More than a drink, it's a moment.
“Mate” and tango often go hand in hand. We tell each other about our best tandas of the previous night around a “mate”. After a too short night's sleep, the day begins with a breakfast consisting of “mate” and "facturas", these delicious Argentinian pastries. The “mate” is not far away either when you get ready to go out in a milonga. Need inspiration? Take a look at our Malvón Tango dresses on https://www.malvontango.com/shop.
In this photo we are at home, or rather where I used to live in the heart of Palermo and close to the famous milonga la Viruta. A quiet morning begins, the melody of tangos resonates in our small duplex. It's not background music, this morning we decided to listen to it. We are sat around the table, in silence, a comment here and there. Everything is there. And the mate going from hand to hand.