Can and glass of Materva, showing the color of the drink
|Product type||soft drink|
|Owner||Cawy Bottling Co.|
|Introduced||United States, Canada, Spain|
|Previous owners||1920 – Materva Soft Drink Company|
The Materva Soft Drink Company was founded in Matanzas, Cuba, in 1920. Materva became known as a "famous Cuban brand" and advertising included celebrity endorsements that touted the drink's energizing properties.
During the Cuban Revolution, the Materva bottling plant was targeted for strikes by revolutionaries, along with the Coca-Cola and Pepsi bottling plants in the country. Materva was produced and sold in Cuba until 1960 when it was nationalized along with other private industry.
The Cawy Bottling Company of Miami was founded to produce the Cawy lemon-lime soda that had been popular in Cuba. The company began producing Materva in the United States in the 1960s in an attempt to diversify after the founder of the company realized that there were many large American companies already competing with lemon-lime drinks. In 2002, Materva was given the "Best Local Soft Drink" award by the Miami New Times. In recent years Materva has been distributed outside Southern Florida to larger markets in the United States, Spain, and Central America.
Materva is a carbonated drink made from yerba mate, a tea popular in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Unlike the somewhat bitter tea-like mate on which it is based, Materva is sweet, with a flavor described as similar to ginger ale or cream soda. Current production includes a diet version called Diet Materva.
Significance in Cuban culture
Materva has been described as a part of the "standard Cuban pantry", and as "the old standby Cuban soda". Because of its significance as a popular drink in Cuba prior to the Revolution, it is often cited as a source of "shared memories" of pre-Revolutionary Cuba by Cubans. Miami politicians also use the drink to symbolize Cuban-ness, such as when a congressional candidate told local media in 2010 that he had spoken about Materva to President Obama during a presidential visit to the city. Travel books also often recommend the drink to visitors to Miami.
- Levine, Robert. Cuban Miami. p. 77.
- Sokol, Brett. "Havana's Real-World Don Draper". Ocean Drive. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- Quiroga, Alberto. "And now a word from our sponsors". Havana- May 1950-Nov 1960. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- Julia, Sweig (2002). Inside the Cuban Revolution: Fidel Castro and the Urban Underground. Harvard University Press. p. 134. ISBN 9780674044197.
- Roth, Daniel Shoer (March 20, 2011). "A Cuban who popularized Materva and Jupina in the US passes (tr.)". El Nuevo Herald. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- Sam Verdeja, Guillermo Martinez Cubans: an Epic Journey: The Struggle of Exiles for Truth 2012 "offerings to include other fruit-flavored drinks (pineapple-flavored Jupifia, Cawy's biggest seller) and herbal drinks such Materva, a yerba mate soda"
- "Best Local Soft Drink 2002". Miami New times. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "Cawy Bottling Co.". Retrieved 2011-11-16.
- "Best Cuban and Latin American Beverage Guide". Three Guys from Miami. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- Caicedo, Harry. Conflicting Loyalties. p. 14.
- Rabade Roque, Raquel. The Cuban Kitchen. p. 6.
- Motz, George (2011). Hamburger America. Running Press. ISBN 9780762442348.
- Wong, Samantha. "Materva: Un Buchito de Cuba". Johnson and Wales: Student Food Writing. p. 8. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- Navarette, William (December 14, 2013). "Una Habana de otros tiempos". El Nuevo Herald. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
tr.: "To read [this book] is to remember brands of products manufactured in Cuba [list including Materva] and many others that bring us the smells of great memories to those who are older."
- Pardo, Bernadette (October 15, 2010). "Materva Con Frita". El Nuevo Herald. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- Petit Futé New York 2013-2014 Dominique Auzias, Jean-Paul Labourdette 2746967529 2012 p. 207 "Les Cubains rencontrés lors de notre dernier passage nous ont assuré qu'ici on sert les meilleurs sandwichs cubains de la ville. Tout y est à point, même ce curieux soda à saveur de malte, le Materva."
- Schmidt, Gretchen (2006). Night + Day Miami. AS Davis Media Group. p. 20. ISBN 9780977624508.