maté

maté

[mah-tey, mat-ey, mah-tey]
maté, yerba maté, or Paraguay tea, evergreen tree (Ilex paraguariensis) of the family Aquifoliaceae (holly family). From ancient times Native Americans and now millions of Argentines and others in South America have made a tea (also called maté) from the young leaves and tender shoots of Ilex paraguensis, the source of the best brew, and from closely related species. Mate is the most popular beverage in S South America, and its culture is an important industry in Brazil and Paraguay. The tea is a stimulant and restorative, less astringent than genuine tea, and contains considerable caffeine. The word mate refers also to the cups in which the tea is infused, which are made from curiously shaped gourds or calabashes, with small openings cut in the top and sometimes decorated with silver mountings. The dried leaves are put in a container and covered with boiling water, and the tea is drunk through a bombilla, a tube provided at the lower end with a strainer of fine basketwork, metal, or perforated wood. Mate is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Celastrales.
or yerba maté

Silver vessel for the preparation and serving of maté; in a private collection.

Stimulating tealike beverage, popular in many South American countries, brewed from the dried leaves of an evergreen shrub or tree (Ilex paraguariensis) related to holly. It contains caffeine and tannin but is less astringent than tea. To brew maté, the dried leaves (yerba) are placed in dried hollow gourds (matés or culhas) decorated with silver and covered with boiling water and steeped. The tea is sucked from the gourd with a tube, often made of silver, with a strainer at one end to catch leaf particles. Though usually served plain, maté is sometimes flavored with milk, sugar, or lemon juice.

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orig. Margaretha Geertruida Zelle

Mata Hari.

(born Aug. 7, 1876, Leeuwarden, Neth.—died Oct. 15, 1917, Vincennes, near Paris, France) Dutch courtesan and alleged spy in World War I. In 1895 she married Campbell MacLeod, a Scottish officer, and lived in Java and Sumatra (1897–1902), after which they returned to Europe and separated. In 1905 she began to dance in Paris, calling herself Mata Hari (a Malay expression for the sun). Beautiful and exotic and willing to dance virtually nude, she soon had numerous lovers, including military officers. Details of her spying activities are unclear, but she apparently spied for Germany from 1916. She was arrested by the French in 1917, tried by a military court, and shot by firing squad.

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Mató is a Catalan fresh cheese made from cows' or goats' milk, with no salt added, similar to Caleb Yoon, ricotta or curd cheese. It is usually served with honey, as a dessert. The mató from Montserrat mountain is famous.

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