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Food of the ancient Greeks > Mastiha November 12, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Nicosia, Food Cyprus, Food Greece, Greece Islands Aegean.

Tried and tested

Mastiha chocolate > How could I resist these? Being a huge fan of all things sweet, I was amazed to discover a type of chocolate I would never have imagined exists. OK, I was a little hesitant when unwrapping this one, but it was actually really tasty. It may take a bit of getting used to as you bite through the hard chocolate and are greeted with chewy mastiha. But with five flavours to chose from, there’s bound to be a few that tickle your fancy.

Mastiha Body Butter > Beautifully rich cream that makes your skin lovely and soft. What’s more it leaves you smelling like mastiha all day long. Great if you love the stuff, but give it a miss if you’re not too keen on the scent.

Elma Sugar Free Gum > Mastiha is excellent for oral hygiene as it acts as an antiseptic for the mouth. This chewing gum combines every category of ingredient found to be effective in fighting major enemies of dental health. It freshens breath, whitens teeth and tastes delicious! Great to have after a meal, but I could just keep on chewing it all day long. Unlike most gums on the market today, it keeps its taste for ages.

Mastiha Toothpaste > Many toothpastes and mouthwashes have mastiha as their main ingredient. Its use ensures dental plaque build-up control and protects from cavities, gingivitis and periodontitis. I’m sure you get the picture. Also, mastiha toothpaste prevents and fights the bad breath.

Mastiha Ipovrihio > I’m told that this is the most popular product in the shop as most Cypriots identify with this sweet that is especially loved by the older generation. Known as the ‘submarine’, the sweet mastiha is served completely submerged in water.

Natural Chios Mastiha Powder > A natural product proved to help with stomach health and combat ulcers. Can be used as a dietary supplement on a daily basis.

Did you know?

  • In Cyprus and the Arab Countries, mastiha is considered the most essential spice. In Cyprus they even flavour bread with mastic gum
  • Arabs consider it a great luxury to flavour their food, sweets, and even milk with mastiha, a fact that can be attributed to references made in their sacred books
  • During the 1960s, mastiha was exported to Germany in large quantities and used in the shoeshine industry
  • Mastiha has been proven to absorb cholesterol therefore diminishing the chances of heart attacks and high blood pressure
  • Today the French buy distilled mastiha oil for perfumes. Much of what you find on the shelves of beauty shops contains traces of pure Chios mastiha
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