HOW TO CURE A MATE GOURD IN 6 SIMPLE STEPS
First of all, let’s make it clear that although it is recommend that you do cure your gourd, it isn’t absolutely necessary. Secondly, if you don’t know much what is a yerba mate, go to our homepage to find out.
In Argentina, it is common practice to just consider the first few times of using the mate as the curing process. You simply prepare the mate and then drink it as usual. After you are done, you don’t take the yerba out of the gourd. Instead, you allow it to sit in it overnight. Then on the following day you can clean it out.
This process should be repeated two times and then you will be good to go! It’s a very easy and simple process. Cure the mate is the process of adapting your mate-gourd to be used with yerba mate infusion. Mate-gourds, which are mainly made out of porous materials, allow this process (particularly those made with a calabash that has been hollowed-out) since the inner walls can be permeated with the yerba’s “spirit,” which makes the concoction age with a personal touch, that is appreciated by the “matero” in terms of the yerba’s quality.
MAIN PURPOSES FOR CURING YERBA MATE GOURD
- Removing the interior skin
This involves removing the soft skin from the calabash’s inner walls. The process isn’t necessary when the mate is made out of wood or another kind of porous material. Next, you fill the new calabash with a wet and used brewing, which is taken from a mate that is already in use, preferably a bitter one. A squirt of hot water then is poured in and left to sit for one day. After the time has passed, you remove the yerba and rinse the calabash out well. The inner walls are then scraped to take the soft skin off, which the maceration effect will have made almost loose. After this process is completed, rinse it with lots of water and then repeat the process once again.
- The adaption process
This will be prepared according to the kind of infusion that it will be holding. Although it is strongly recommended, in order to keep things simple, you can just use a steel stainless gourd instead in order to avoid having to do the following steps.
There are two steps that are involved in the process of getting the mate cured: the curing process itself and then actually using it, which helps to improve the curing over time.
a. Most Recommended: In order to make Gallenta, which is a bitter mate: use a new brew to fill it up. Next, add boiling water and let it sit until the next day- this should ideally be 24 hours. Then empty the mate out and use water to rinse it out. See Steps 1-6 below.
Note: The boiling water causes a robust infusion which will impregnate the galleta’s walls. Then it will be ready to use. Some individuals repeat this process for two to three days. This can be a better way because it allows for the inner walls to be fully impregnated.
b. More Complex: In order to make Poro, which is a sweet mate: add two to three teaspoons of sugar and then add an ember that is well-lit quickly. Cover the mate’s mouth and vigorously shake it to burn the sugar. The sugar, along with the smoke of its combustion, scent the poro’s bark and sweeten it.
For curing a mate gourd you'll need:
- New mate calabash gourd
- Loose leaf Yerba mate
- Hot water
- Proper scraping tool