Argentinian mate in Cagliari? It is possible, actually it is a must do for those who want to merge in the popular traditional Argentinian culture. In the typical Argentinian restaurant, this drink is offered in the menu, which carefully follows the cuisine diktat of the original culture. To drink “el mate” (this the original Argentinian name) is a sort of ritual for Argentinians, who drink it such as the English do with their tea.
The drink comes from the leaves of Yerba Mate (Ilex Paraguariensis), which are dried and then grounded. The peculiarity of every Yerba Mate comes from its original area of growth, the kind of ground, the climate and the different working procedures it undertakes. The Mate has many therapeutic properties, such as the fact it helps digesting, depurating the blood from toxins and scums, and to enforce the immune system. Many active components are contained in this drink: proteins, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and fatty acids. In Argentina it is a popular tradition to drink the infusion of Yerba Mate. The drink is to be consumed boiling hot, and it is prepared by pouring some hot water in a designed contained, called “el matero”, which is filled up with the dried and grounded leaves. The most particular thing is that this beverage is drunk with a straw, usually a metallic one, called “bombilla” and equipped with a filter for preventing the grounded leaves from passing through. The one of drinking the mate” is a true ritual, and the one who pours the drink, the “cebador”, must know how to keep it alive for a certain time, without using other leaves.
It is usual to share the “matero” among all the present guests, following a tradition that, through sharing wants to celebrate the socialization and strong union of those who are taking part in the ritual. For whoever is curious to taste this traditional beverage, the Argentinian mate in Cagliari is one of the specialties offered by the restaurant “El Sabor Argentino”.