Mastic Gum, Chios Mastiha Greece
Authentic mastic tears from the Greek Island of Chios
The aromatic and air dried resinous sap from the tree pistacia lentiscus is known as the first natural chewing gum in the world. The mastic tree grows solely on the southern shores of Chios. Once dried, the tears are ideal for cocktails, ice creams, and used in an array of traditional medical practices.
Our mastic is one hundred percent an all natural product from the protected designation of origin. Chios mastisha does not contain any fillers, additives or additional ingredients.
What to look for when buying mastic gum
Appearance should be transparent or opaque with crystalline granules in varying teardrop shapes and sizes. The color will be off-white to yellowish. This aromatic and resinous matter comes from the sap of pistacia lentiscus var, an evergreen related to the pistachio tree. It can be used as a dinner digestive, in cakes, spirits, beverages and nutritional products.
Elegant, bold and aromatic, mastiha is used in both sweet and savory dishes. In Greece, Turkey and other parts of the Middle East, mastic has been used in cooking, baking, medicinal, and liquors. Medicinally, these tear drops of flavor have been shown to alleviate a number of issues such as digestive and oral conditions. The use of Chios mastiha is so well documented that it is recognized by the European Food Safety Authority, EFSA.
To use mastic tears
The word mastic coming from mastication meaning chewing but it can be used for more than just fresh breath. Chios mastiha can be used in food by freezing and grinding in a blender ( be sure to not blend on too high or too long as the blender will heat up the resin) or by hand with a mortar and pestle. It is commonly mixed with sugar or salt for seasoning and flavor. Most famously mastiha is used in tsoureki (Greek Easter bread), Mastic ice cream and Turkish delight candies. Egyptian cooking often uses mastic in chicken dishes paired with spices like cinnamon or cardamom. It is neither herb nor spice but a beneficial flavor resin.
What is the flavor like
The bold and aromatic character are due to the concentrated resinous nature of the product. Mastic can be described as delicately piney with notes of fennel, lemon zest, anise and even mint. The flavor is refreshing but can be easily overpowered in spice mixes. Try some today and let us know what you think.