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Mastic (Greek: Μαστίχα) is a resin obtained from the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus). In pharmacies and Nature shops it is called "arabic gum" (not to be confused with gum arabic) and "Yemen gum". In Greece it is known as the "tears of Chios," being traditionally produced on that Greek island, and, like other natural resins is produced in "tears" or droplets. Originally liquid, it is sun-dried into drops of hard brittle translucent resin. When chewed, the resin softens and becomes a bright white and opaque gum. The flavor is bitter at first, but after chewing releases a refreshing, slightly piney or cedar flavor.
The word mastic derives from the Greek verb μαστιχειν "to gnash the teeth", which is the source of the English word masticate. The word mastic is a synonym for gum in many languages.
July 11th, 2012
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