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 purposes. A big variety of products is made from the mastic, including chewing gum, alcoholic drinks, sweets, spices, perfumes, and various chemicals; while the most important use is by the medical industry all over the world. The cultivation of the mastic has been known since ancient times and it has been strongly tied to the islands history. The importance of this unique product, made the island many times in the past a target for various conquerors. 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.