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Mastic | From the Ancient Heritage to the Modern Delights of the Tears of Chios Island

Updated: Mar 6

Authors

George P. Papadellis | SG Head

with some good tips from AI


The Mastic of Chios, known as the "Tears of Chios", is a resin obtained from the mastic tree that grows exclusively on the island. For centuries, this precious resin has been used as a key ingredient in various culinary delights, making Chios an exceptional gastronomic destination. In pharmacies and nature shops, it is called "Arabic gum", "Yemen gum" and "Mastic gum". In Greece, like other natural resins, it is produced in "tears" or droplets. Join us on a journey to explore the enchanting world of Mastic Chios and its extraordinary contributions to Greek tradition.


Mastic Chios  |  Shiny Greece

Mastic Gum - Photo by: ID 169687506 © Tzogia Kappatou | Dreamstime.com


Unveiling the Mystique

Mastic holds a rich historical significance that dates back to ancient times. The mastic tree, indigenous to Chios, exudes a unique resin that has been treasured since antiquity. In ancient Greece, mastic was highly prized for its medicinal properties and aromatic qualities. The resin was used as a natural remedy for various ailments, from digestive issues to oral hygiene. Mastic was also used in religious rituals, symbolizing purity and offering a divine fragrance to the gods. Originally a sap, mastic is sun-dried into pieces of brittle, translucent resin. When chewed, the resin softens and becomes a bright white and opaque gum. The flavor is bitter at first, but after some chewing, it releases a refreshing, slightly pine or cedar-like flavor. The word mastic is derived from the Greek mastihin "to gnash the teeth", which is the source of the English word masticate. The word mastic is a synonym for gum in many languages.


Mastic Gum  |  Shiny Greece

Mastic Chios - Photo by: iStock.com | PicturePartners


The Authentic Mastic


Exploring Mastic Villages

Embark on a captivating journey through the idyllic villages of Chios, such as Pyrgi, Mesta, and Olympi, where the tradition of mastic cultivation thrives. Stroll through narrow streets adorned with geometric patterns, known as "xysta," created by local craftsmen using mastic as a natural whitewash. Immerse yourself in the local culture, visit traditional mastic distilleries, and witness the age-old methods of harvesting and processing mastic.


Mastic in Gastronomy

Indulge your taste buds in a culinary adventure that showcases the versatility of mastic. Experience the exquisite flavors of mastic-infused dishes, ranging from savory to sweet. Delight in local specialties like "mastic liqueur" and "mastiha spoon sweets" that capture the essence of Chios. Don't miss the opportunity to savor traditional recipes like "mastic-flavored ice cream" or "mastic-marinated lamb," where the resin's aromatic notes elevate the overall gastronomic experience.


Wellness and Beauty

Discover the numerous health and beauty benefits associated with mastic. Learn about its anti-inflammatory properties and how it promotes digestive health. Unwind with a rejuvenating mastic spa treatment, where the resin's soothing effects are harnessed to offer a truly relaxing experience. Explore the wide range of mastic-based skincare products, known for their natural healing properties and ability to enhance your beauty regime.


Mastic Tree Chios | Shiny Greece

Mastic Gum Chios Greece is used mainly to treat stomach (dyspepsia, gastric ulcers) and dental (periodontitis) problems, and also other health issues, such as stress, inflammation, muscle pain and insomnia.


Tradition and Innovation

Despite the passing centuries, the people of Chios have diligently preserved the traditional methods of mastic cultivation and processing. These methods have been recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, ensuring the preservation of this ancient craft. At the same time, innovative applications of mastic have emerged, from contemporary cuisine to modern pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. The delicate balance between tradition and innovation ensures the continued relevance and prosperity of mastic production on the island.


Linger in Senses

Mastic Chios offers a remarkable journey into the heart of Greek tradition, where the captivating flavors of mastic leave an indelible mark on every aspect of this enchanting island. From its ancient medicinal uses to its exquisite culinary creations, mastic continues to inspire and captivate both locals and visitors alike. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage and timeless allure of Mastic Chios, and discover a truly unforgettable experience that will linger in your senses long after you depart this magical island.


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Apr 30
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

My grandfather was chewing mastic gums. I still remember the smell and taste!!

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