Mastiha is a unique natural wonder. This miraculous resin is a product of Mastiha trees, native to the Greek island of Chios. Mastiha trees are only found in the southern region of the island and date back to ancient times, where the resin was used to heal wounded skin and digestive ailments.
Mastiha has such a unique taste and aroma, that most Greeks have vivid memories of their Yiayia chewing on the resin all day, every day. And who could forget dunking a big spoon of Mastiha fondant into an icy cold tall glass of water on a hot Summer's day?
Mastiha's medicinal benefits have heralded it the Greek superfood, and it has been recognized by several health bodies in the EU for its treatment of digestive issues and even Gingivitis.
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When ground into a powder, Mastiha works beautifully in sweet dishes, adding an extra aroma and depth of flavour that is unlike any other spice. When baking with Mastiha, it's important to remember that a little goes a long way!
It also compliments savoury flavours like prawns, scallops, lobster and vegetables including Zucchini and Pomegranate.
Many Greeks keep a few Mastiha tears in their glass of water, continually topping up the glass with water.
The benefits of cooking with these miraculous tears are too many to ignore and we're thrilled to be stocking the Art of Nature medium Mastiha Tears, produced by Greece's leading Mastiha producer - MastihaShop.
Click here to view our range of Mastiha products
Homer St tips on using Chios Mastiha:
- To grind the mastic tears which can be used for savoury and sweet dishes alike, the crystals need to be pounded in a mortar & pestle or spice grinder, but always with the addition of either a little salt (for savory foods) or a little sugar (for sweets). Half a teaspoon of ground Mastiha goes a pretty long way in cooking and baking.
- Mastiha becomes easier to grind if frozen first!
- Chios Mastiha was possibly the world’s first chewing gum. To create your own natural piece of gum, select 1-2 medium-large pieces of the resin, and let the pieces moisten in your mouth before chewing. Begin chewing and the Mastiha becomes a white silky color. The resin keeps its hard texture indefinitely and this is precisely why it is recommended for gum health and amazingly clean teeth! Keep chewing the gum for a half hour in order to gain all the therapeutic benefits.
- To make this Greek superfood packed with health benefits a part of every day life, infuse it into your water, olive oil or honey.
Want to cook with Mastiha? Check out these recipes made with Mastiha