LIMA, Peru — Argentina President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has been under the gun lately. But now she’s contending yet another crisis. This one is a politician’s nightmare, affecting the daily habits of many citizens.
It involves mate, the Argentine people’s stimulant of choice.
Pronounced “MAH-tey” and served hot in a hollow gourd with a metal straw, many Argentines slurp the caffeine-laced herbal drink throughout the day, instead of coffee or tea.
Yet in recent weeks a combination of rising production costs for growers, alleged economic incompetence by the Fernandez government, and hoarding by retailers have left Argentines finding it increasingly hard to get their daily mate fix.