New publication - Yerba Maté use among Syrian Residents and Diaspora

Yerba maté consumption is common in parts of South America; but did you know that Syria is the world’s second-largest importer of this drink? The unique story of yerba maté in the Syrian beverage culture started at the beginning of the twentieth century when Syrian migrants returning from South America brought the beverage with them. A recent paper with our guest researchers from the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, together with researchers from the University of Gastronomic Sciences, Tishk International University and Foscari University of Venice (Sulaiman et al. 2021) tells the story. In the paper we investigate the social and cultural importance of this beverage among Syrian residents and diaspora. It provides an analysis of yerba maté consumption in Syria, thousands of kilometers away from its center of origin. The work outlines the use of yerba maté among Syrians and its role as an essential part of the Syrian beverage culture. Interviews reveal social and cultural factors, perceived addiction, perceived pleasure, and perceived health properties as the drivers behind yerba maté consumption in Syria.

The study was funded by the Internal Grant Agency of the Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (IGA FTZ, Project No. 20213113). Read the full paper in Economic Botany: Citation: Sulaiman, Naji, Andrea Pieroni, Renata Sõukand, Cory Whitney, and Zbynek Polesny. 2021. “Socio–Cultural Significance of Yerba Maté among Syrian Residents and Diaspora.” Economic Botany 75(2):97–111. doi: 10.1007/s12231-021-09523-6.

Dr. Cory Whitney
Dr. Cory Whitney

My research interests include Decision analysis, participatory and transdisciplinary approaches, stochastic models, agroecology, agro- biodiversity, biodiversity, conservation