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Mastiha (mastic) is the sap of the mastic tree (pistacia lentiscus bush, an evergreen) that grows on the Greek island of Chios. Although the tree grows in other areas of the Mediterranean, only in southern Chios are the mastic trees producing this aromatic sap with all its wonderful properties. The mastic sap is sun-dried into pieces of brittle, translucent resin, known as tears. When the medium size crystals are chewed, the resin softens and becomes a bright white and opaque gum. It has been known since ancient times (Hippocrates) for its healing and therapeutic properties for digestive problems and its used as the first natural chewing gum and as a cooking spice.
As a spice,
Mastiha is available in all supermarkets in Greece and Greek and Middle Eastern food stores outside Greece, as well as online.
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