Feature: Mastic Gum

Mastic gum is a resin that drips from the lentisk tree, which flourishes in southern Chios’ gentle climate. Mastic gum has been around at least since the golden age of Greece when Hippocrates touted its pharmaceutical benefit, and for centuries it supported the local economy. Modern research indicates that it contains antioxidants.

During Ottoman rule, Chios received preferential treatment from the sultans who, along with the women of the harem, were quite fond of chewing mastic gum. You can find samples in Mesta and Chios Town shops.

For a comprehensive story of mastic production in Chios, head to the Chios Mastic Museum near Pyrgi.