How to Cure a Traditional Gourd
The Yerba Mate gourd, also known as Calabaza is made from the fruit of gourd vine. The preferred shape and size vary from one region to the other. These bottles are natural, and they are only decorated to take the various colors and forms that please you.
The Mate gourds are harvested traditionally, treated naturally and individually decorated on the surface by an experienced craftsman. The finished squash is natural and exhibit different features on the inside and the outside.
How to cure your gourd
For the squash to be ready for usage, you have to cure it. The process helps prevent molding, cracking and improves the flavor. With time, you will notice that the longer you use the gourd, the better the taste of your yerba mate.
Fill your bottle halfway with the yerba mate. Add hot but not boiling water to the squash to the brim. Be cautious as boiling water may end up breaking your gourd. Place the gourd in a ventilated area for twenty-four hours and continually top more water as the gourd absorbs it. After the lapse of this period, pour out all the contents and thoroughly rinse with running water. Once dry, your gourd will be ready for use.
Take good care of the gourd.
After curing your gourd, you are ready to use it. It is essential to learn how to take great care of it. A good gourd should last for a longer period allowing you to enjoy the delicious yerba mate drink over the years continually. First of all, you should never drop it. If abused or dropped, small cracks may form and increase over time leading to leaks thus compromising your gourd.
If you do not dry the gourd correctly, it is prone to mold. To keep it dry, rinse it well after use and place it in a ventilated area at an angle allowing air to flow freely to the gourd. In case you detect signs of mold, use hydrogen peroxide then thoroughly rinse with water.
If you suffer an allergy to molds, do not attempt to reuse the gourd. The mating factor does not cover health problems resulting from failure to follow instructions, misuse of the gourds and using it once it has molded. The instructions that we provide are to inform our clients on how the natives deal with the molding gourds.
How to use your gourd:
- Fill your flask up to two-thirds with hot but not boiling water.
- Place bombilla into the water and allow it to rest.
- Pour mate leaves on top of the warm water and let the ingredients mound up.
- Poke a half an inch hole in the mate mound and opposite to where the bombilla rests.
- Sip through the bombilla and re-pour with water through the small hole.
- The first run may or may not allow leaves to pass through. But then, it seals the hole as the mate expands and sinks to the bottom around the bombilla.
- Put bombilla into the gourd and let it rest.
- Use mate leaves to fill the squash up to two-thirds.
- Pour hot but not boiling water and sip through the bombilla.
- Drink and refill until the mate is not stronger anymore. The first few leaves may pass through, but it seals as the mate expands.