Each day as the temperature rises, thousands of people across Paraguay reach for their weapon of choice against the heat: tereré. Preparing tereré involves a myriad of choices. There are dozens of yuyos (medicinal herbs) and yerba brands to choose from as well as several methods for breaking up your enormous bar of ice (check out this post for some options). However, before you even start considering any of that there is a more important order of business: the “tereré rupá.
“Tereré rupa” translates into “a bed for tereré.” It is pronounced “te” (teddy) “re” (relish) “re” (relish) “ru” (rule) “pa” (parchment). According to most Paraguayans drinking tereré without this pre-emptive snack is likely to result in an upset stomach (though eating watermelon beforehand is even worse). What makes a good tereré rupa? Starchy foods like chipa and fritters (known as “tortillas” here) tend to be favorites. What is your favorite “tereré rupa”? Comment here or on the Discovering Paraguay Facebook page!
A note on pronunciation for English speakers: “Tereré” is a tricky word for English speakers to pronounce because of the soft “r” sound. My suggestion is to replace the “r” with a soft “d” sound and say “te” (teddy) “de” (dentist) “de” (dentist).