Jon "maddog" Hall - Chimarrão 101

For quite a long time - more than ten years now! - I owed my good friend Jon "maddog" Hall an English translation of his famous "Chimarrão Lessons". Now that Latinoware 2012 is approaching and I will meet him in Foz do Iguaçu next week I decided to honor my promise! As Latinoware will have an international audience I will also produce, as a bonus, a Spanish version. My goal is to have Portuguese, English and Spanish instructions as a starting point to have them translated into all languages. If you are willing to help me, please use the contact form of this web portal and send me your translation, along with your name and a link to your blog or company name so I can include them along with your translated text.

Before we move on, here is a small vocabulary you must be familiar with:

cuia: is the “cup” made out of a dried “porongo” - I was told by a friend a name for it would be “gourd”.
porongo: is the fruit of the porongueiro, or Lagenaria siceraria.
bomba: kind of a funny straw you will use to suck the “chimarrão” out of the “cuia”. You will see it in the text below. Google has some images of this device.
erva: also called “erva mate”, is the tea preparation made with the green leaves of the Ilex paraguariensis bush.
chimarrão: also called “mate”, “amargo”, or “mate amargo” is the tea prepared with the “erva” inside the “cuia” and drunk with the “bomba”. It is very good for your health!

Now on to Maddog's Chimarrão 101!

Jon "maddog" Hall, the president of Linux International has acquired the habit of drinking “chimarrão” in his visits to Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state of Brazil. While participating in the event Linux Istambul, in Turkey, he taught this class on how to prepare this delicious drink.

Erva in the cuia

Start with the erva: get a good erva-mate from the south of Brazil and fill half of the cuia with it.

Prepare the little mountain

The little mountain: Cover the top of the “cuia” with your hand and shake it in the vertical position in order to produce sort of a small mountain and a valley where you will later pour the hot water.

Pour the water

Hissing water: The water to be used in the “chimarrão” must be almost boiling but not quite yet. Boiling water will cook the “erva” and ruin your “chimarrão” - some cientists tried this and proved it will taste like an old man wet diaper. The water must go “sssssssss”, but not boile. Put your pan filled with water in the fire. When it starts hissing like a nervous cat you must turn off the fire. Never use a microwave for this as this is strictly forbidden by the “chimarrão tradition”. Pour the water slowly into the cuia's valley, taking care not to completely ruin your little mountain. Allow ten minutes for the water to wet the “erva”. Some people prefer to wet the “erva” with cold water. This is pretty much up to your decision.

The bomba

The bomba: Hold the tip of the “bomba” with your tumb in order to seal the air inside the thing and introduce it into the deep of the cuia's valley.


It is ready!: Chimarrão is a social drink, although the ancient chimarrão's rules require the one who prepares it to drink the first one.


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