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Chios, Collecting the Mastic

The gathering of mastic in Chios' Mastihochoria is a unique, traditional social event, not to be missed!

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The picturesque Mastihochoria villages are vibrant now more than any other time of the year, as the locas gather mastic, the crystalized sap of the mastic shrub (Pistachia lentiscus), a kind of wild pistachio that grows only on southern Chiosisland.

 

Mastic was the chewing gum of ancient people, hence the word “masticate.” Very popular in the Arab countries and the Middle East, the use of mastic is now spread all over the world. It is used as a flavoring, mainly in sweets, ice cream, breads, drinks, but also in cosmetics.

 

Washing the crystals with cold water and soap, spreading them out to dry and picked over, becomes a social event.  Visiting Mastihochoria during this time offers a unique opportunity to experience the warmth of these kindhearted people.

 

 

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