Perhaps one of the oldest uses for gourds are as vessels for holding and transporting liquids. Dippers, bowls and drinking vessels have historically been crafted from gourds by peoples from around the world.
Have you heard of the drink called yerba mate? An infusion that hails from Argentina, it has become increasing popular over the years, due in part to its rejuvenating and antioxidant properties. This link will tell you all about how to prepare the drink and its history, but what we want you to know is that the bitter infusion is prepared in – and consumed from – a gourd in combination with a metal straw called a bombilla. Our raw roger gourds could be used in crafting a mate gourd, if you so choose. They are also offered for sale at Guayaki and other online vendors.
Curing Your Mate Gourd
We recommend that you “cure” your gourd prior to your first use. This helps to protect the gourd for yerba mate use.
1. Using a teaspoon, scrape the inside of the gourd to remove any loose skin and debris.
2. Fill the gourd ½ full with dry loose yerba mate.
3. Carefully top off the gourd with boiling water. Note: when drinking yerba mate later, DO NOT use boiling water as this can burn your mouth and also harms the flavor of the yerba.
4. After a few minutes the water level should go down as it soaks into the yerba leaves. When this happens, carefully top off the gourd again with boiling water.
5. Let the gourd sit for about 12 hours to allow the yerba mate mixture to penetrate the gourd completely.
6. Empty and rinse the gourd with hot tap water.
7. Scrape the inside again (see step one).
8. Rinse with clean hot tap water and dry quickly and completely (see care instructions).
Caring For Your Gourd
Following a timely cleaning and drying routine after each use, storing your mate in a dry location, and inspecting the gourd prior to each use, should keep your gourd clean.
1. Immediately after each use, empty the gourd of yerba and rinse the gourd with clean clean tap water (if you use hot tap water it will help it dry faster).
2. Hand dry the gourd with a clean towel. (A towel will not completely dry the gourd but helps removes the excess water so the gourd dries faster). Prompt and complete drying is necessary to prevent mold growth.
3. Place the gourd upside down on a rack in a dry location and allow it to dry completely. It may be necessary to dry the gourd near some source of dry heat like a home heat radiator. However, be careful not to place the gourd near a flame or where it could catch fire – the gourd is flammable!
4. When your gourd is dry, store your gourd right-side-up in a well ventilated area. We recommend storing it near a window where sunlight can enter the gourd to help prevent mold or mildew.
5. Always inspect the gourd before each use to make sure your gourd is clean.