Yerba Mate: The Drink That Shaped a Nation (California Studies in Food and Culture #79) (Paperback)

Yerba Mate: The Drink That Shaped a Nation (California Studies in Food and Culture #79) By Julia J.S. Sarreal Cover Image

Yerba Mate: The Drink That Shaped a Nation (California Studies in Food and Culture #79) (Paperback)


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Like coffee or tea, yerba mate is one of the world's most beloved caffeinated beverages. Once dubbed a "devil's drink" by Spanish missionaries in South America only to be later hailed by capitalists and politicians as "green gold," it has a long and storied history. And no country consumes and celebrates yerba mate quite like Argentina.

Yerba Mate is the first book to explore the extraordinary history of this iconic beverage in Argentina from the precolonial period to the present. From yerba mate's Indigenous origins to its ubiquity during the colonial era, from its association with rural people and the poor in the late nineteenth century to its resurgence in the last years of the twentieth century, Julia Sarreal meticulously documents yerba mate's consumption, production, and cultural importance over time. Yerba Mate is the definitive history of this popular beverage and social practice, and it tells a fascinating story about race, culture, and how a drink helped forge the national identity of one of the world's most dynamic countries.
Julia J.S. Sarreal is Associate Professor at Arizona State University and author of The Guaraní and Their Missions: A Socioeconomic History. She has a Ph.D. in History from Harvard University and teaches classes on Latin American History and Latin American Studies. Dr. Sarreal first tried yerba mate as a Peace Corps volunteer in Curuguaty, Paraguay. Her intellectual interest in the beverage was sparked while living in Buenos Aires and working on her dissertation about the Guaraní missions.
Product Details ISBN: 9780520379282
ISBN-10: 0520379284
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: January 24th, 2023
Pages: 394
Language: English
Series: California Studies in Food and Culture
"Yerba Mate is the first book to chart the captivating journey of Argentina’s cherished caffeinated beverage from its indigenous roots to the modern day. Through meticulous documentation, author Julia Sarreal showcases how yerba mate has intertwined with Argentina’s cultural and racial dynamics. She sheds light on yerba mate’s transformative role in shaping the country’s national identity and its present ubiquity."
— Food Tank

"Yerba Mate would appeal to anyone interested in learning all that is needed to know about an infusion that is embedded in Argentine culture and the country’s everyday life. . . . I would recommend heating water, preparing a mate, and sipping while you enjoy the reading."
— ReVista

"As Sarreal notes, yerba mate is now increasingly consumed as a cold beverage in Europe and the United States, marketed as a pick-me-up superfood with all the false trappings of Indigenous exoticization. And thanks to Sarreal’s sweeping book, scholars of Latin America and of food and drugs now have a definitive study of yerba mate in Argentina, and a picture window on the nation’s historical longue durée."
— Hispanic American Historical Review