This is pure mastic gum, a natural plant resin handpicked in Ethiopia.
Mastic is a resin obtained from the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus). It is also known as tears of Chios, being traditionally produced on the island of Chios, and, like other natural resins, is produced in “tears” or droplets.
Mastic dries into pieces of brittle, translucent resin. It has been harvested for at least 2,500 years since Greek antiquity. The first mention of actual mastic ‘tears’ was by Hippocrates. Hippocrates used mastic for the prevention of digestive problems, colds and as a breath freshener. Romans used mastic along with honey, pepper, and egg in the spiced wine “conditum paradoxum”. Under the Byzantine Empire, the mastic trade became the Emperor’s monopoly.
During the Ottoman rule of Chios, mastic was worth its weight in gold. The penalty for stealing mastic was execution by order of the sultan. In the Chios Massacre of 1822, the people of the Mastichochoria region were spared by the sultan to provide mastic to him and his harem. Sakız Adası, the Turkish name for the island of Chios, means “Gum Island”. The mastic villages are fortress-like, out of sight from the sea, surrounded by high walls and with no doors at street level (meaning that the villages were entered only by ladders), in order to protect the sap from invaders.
Mastic gum is used in pharmaceuticals, perfumes, cosmetics, beverages, and foodstuffs.
Mastika or mastiha is a liqueur seasoned with mastic, that resin with a slightly pine or cedar-like flavor gathered from the mastic tree, a small evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean region. In Greece, mastiha is a sweet liqueur produced with the mastika resin from the Greek island of Chios, which is distilled after hardening to crystals. Sugar is typically added. It is a sweet liqueur that is typically consumed at the end of a meal. It has a distinctive flavor, reminiscent of pine and herbs. It is claimed to have medicinal properties and to aid digestion.
No preservatives – No added color – No other additives.
THIS YEAR’S CROP: Mastic is a 100% natural product. That means that not all the pieces of mastic (or tears as they are called) are the same. Some pieces are bigger, some are smaller, some are harder and some are softer.
PACKING: Item packed into a foil pouch.