Yerba mate (Rioplatense Spanish) or erva mate (Portuguese) (Ilex paraguariensis) is a species of holly (family Aquifoliaceae) native to subtropical South America in Argentina, southern Paraguay, southern Uruguay and southern Brazil. The infusion called mate is prepared by steeping the dried leaves in hot water rather than boiling water like tea or coffee. It is slightly less potent than coffee and much gentler on the stomach. Drinking mate with friends from a shared hollow gourd (also called a mate in Spanish, or cabaÃ§a or cuia in Portuguese) with a metal straw (a bombilla in Spanish, bomba or canudo in Portuguese) is an extremely common social practice in Argentina, Uruguay, southern Paraguay, the east side of Chile and southern Bolivia and Brazil. Its use has also been introduced into Lebanon and Syria, particularly among the Alawi and Druze minority. The flavor of brewed yerba mate is strongly vegetal, herbal, and grassy, reminiscent of some varieties of green tea, though the flavor is much stronger than green tea can achieve. Many consider the flavor to be very agreeable, however, it is generally bitter if steeped in water at boiling point and is traditionally made using boiling water combined with a little cold water. Unlike most teas, it does not become bitter and astringent when steeped for extended periods, and the leaves may be infused several times. Additionally, one can purchase flavored mate, in orange, raspberry, strong, and gentle flavorings. Extract The distilled or evaporated oils of foods or plants (such as nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, bark, buds, roots, leaves, meat, poultry, seafood, fish, dairy foods, or eggs) that are dissolved in an alcohol base or allowed to dry to be used as a flavoring. Food extracts as they are often labeled, are used to add a concentrated flavor to many food dishes, especially baked goods and desserts, without adding additional volume. Available in solid (cubes, granules or powdered), liquid or jelled form, extracts may be labeled as pure, natural or artificial. Pure and natural extracts are governed by laws in many countries that require compliance with procedures that take the extract ingredients directly from the named flavor, such as extracting oils directly from the vanilla bean to make pure or natural vanilla extract. Artificial extracts are flavors that do not necessarily use any ingredients directly from a source named for the extract but instead used combinations of ingredients to arrive at a flavor representative of the named food extract, such as artificial lemon extract. Some of the most widely used extracts include vanilla, almond, anise, maple, peppermint, and numerous solid or jelled extracts such as beef and chicken bouillon or meat demi-glaces. As an example of how the pure and natural extract is made, vanilla extract is created by soaking vanilla beans in water and an alcohol-based solution where it ages for several months, during which time the vanilla flavor is extracted from the bean. Anise extract, a sweet licorice tasting flavoring, is produced by dissolving the oil of anise seeds into alcohol. Grape extract is produced to assist with the wine making process. Compounds from the skin of grapes are extracted and added to the wine in order to impart tannin, color, and body into a wine. The characteristics of the wine can be changed dramatically by the amount of time the wine is in contact with the skins. If the grapes are in contact for too long, the resulting wine may be too potent, or what is sometimes called â€œover-extractedâ€�. Juices of fruits and vegetables are often extracted as juice extracts to be used similar to other food extracts, as a flavoring when preparing foods. A common utensil for the purpose of extracting lemon juice is available to assist with home recipes requiring a lemon flavoring.