Mastic - Mixed Size Tears - Half Gram Packs For Chewing

Regular price $2.89

Mastic is a resin obtained from the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus). In Greece, it is known as the "tears of Chios," being traditionally produced on that Greek island, and, like other natural resins, is produced in "tears" or droplets.

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 verb, 'mastichein', "to gnash the teeth", which is the source of the English word masticate. The word mastic is a synonym for gum in many languages.

Within the European Union, mastic production in Chios is granted protected designation of origin. The island's mastic production is controlled by a co-operative of medieval villages, collectively known as the 'Mastichochoria', which is also located in southern Chios. There is even a small Museum of Mastic in the village of Pyrgi.

Traditionally there has also been a limited production of mastic on the Çeşme peninsula, on the Turkish coast only eight nautical miles from Chios, with similar ecological conditions suitable for mastic production. The Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats TEMA has been leading a project to protect the native mastic trees and to plant new ones in Çeşme peninsula to revive viable commercial production. As part of this project, which is expected to last through 2016, over 3,000 mastic tree saplings were planted between 2008 and October 2011 to over 368 acres (149 hectares) of dedicated farmland provided by the Izmir Institute of Technology.

In Turkey, mastic is widely used in desserts such as Turkish delight and dondurma; in puddings such as sütlaç, salep, and tavuk göğsü mamelika, and in soft drinks. It is also in Turkish coffee on the Aegean coast.

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