Mastic comes from the mastic tree (Pistacia Lentiscus L.) that can only be found on Chios. Through the ages mastic has been used for many purposed. Amongst others are chewing gum, flavoring other products such as ice scream, stabilizing the colors in textile products and even in the heat tiles of the space shuttle.
The Mastic trees can only be found on Chios. This is part of the reason why the Chiosians were prosper through the ages. The Genoese as well as the Turks were very font of the mastic.
To get the mastic from the mastic tree, is a very precise work and takes all summer. First the ground around the tree is cleaned. After this the tree is carved with a special needle to a depth of approximately 3 mm. Now the mastic flow slowly from the tree. The first mastic is collected after fifteen days when the mastic has become more solid.