Wednesday, June 2, 2010

La Rambla de Montevideo y mate

I think I would have missed sharing something very important if I did not explain la Rambla. The Rambla is a street that surrounds the City of Montevideo. It is 22km (13.6m) around the city. With the city on the inside, and the Rio de la Plata on the out. The government controls the water side so that building is restricted to preserve the view. The Rambla is two lanes in each direction and a main way without having to navigate the narrow one ways of the city. It is know as "la Rambla" but each section is named differently. For example, Rambla Mahatma Ghandi, Rambla Replublica Argentina, Rambla FD Roosevelt, Rambla Pres. Wilson, Rambla del Peru, etc. It is a hub of activity for residents and tourist. Many people walk, ride and run along la Rambla. It is also a common in the summer to sunbath, fish and meet friends along the wall and pathways. It is a place where people meet to drink mate. Mate (or chimarro in Portugese) is a traditional South American infused drink. It is made from steeping dried leaves (yerba which is carefully placed first) with hot water.(I think I would like to make and sell cranberry mate as the consumption is so high!) Mate is served through a metal straw (bombilla) in a hollow calabash gourd (I will attach a picture as it is hard to imagine). The straw also acts as the sieve to steep the leaves. You see many people carrying "mate" bags - part holds a thermast of hot water and the other the gourd. Many kiosks refill your hot water for a fee. It is common t0 drink this all day. It has a lower caffeine level than tea (about 1 liter of mate would be the equavilent of 1 cup of coffee).

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