A Yerba Mate Lover writes…
Dear Happy Gaucho,
I was wondering if you could give me advice on my mate that seems to have
accumulated some sort of black filmish mold on the inner part of my mate
(wood part). I just recently bought it and was told by my roomate that it
needed to be prepared properly before using by packing it with mate and
filling it with water. Well this produced a black mold. Now I’m afraid to
use it. Have you ever seen this before? If so is my mate salvagable? If not
what should I do in the future to prepare my mate before using. I read
something on your site about salt??
Thanks a lot,
The first thing that comes to mind is the question “how long was the water and mate sitting before being changed? In our recommended yerba mate gourd curing procedures we suggest allowing the water and salt or yerba mixture to sit no more than 24 hours at a time. Going longer than this can cause mold to form, though it’s usually white.
The inside of a wood or gourd mate should typically turn black or dark green while curing. My best suggestion if it actually smells funny is to let it dry upside down so all the water drains out and then keep it in an extremely dry place for several days to kill the mold (mold can’t survive without moisture).
Next I would scrape our any hanging mold with a spoon and wash it out with hot water. Then I would repeat the curing process but instead of the normal 3-4 days of curing we recommend I would repeat the procedure for about a week. This should help to seal the pours in your mate.
As a rule of thumb don’t let any used, wet or moist yerba sit in your mate cup for more than 24 hours:)
Hope this helps get you back on track drinking your mate in no time!
Let me know if you run into any other trouble.
Keep it Real…
-The Mold-Killin’ Gaucho