Mastic Tears

Mastic tears of Chios in a Greek bowl

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Unique Mastic Tears

If a spice deserves to be labeled “unique” it is mastic, also called mastiha. There is only one place in the world where it is produced, on Chios, a small island in the Mediterranean Sea. The rarity and complex production are reflected in a price much higher than most spices. In case you get hooked on this distinctive spice, your “PEPPER” rewards secure you an attractive offer in our online store.

Greek Islands

Greek Islands

The Tears of Chios

The Mastiha tree grows in other parts of Greece and the Mediterranean, but it only “cries” in Chios, as the locals sometimes call the slitting-tearing process the tree must undergo in order to produce its resinous spice. Mastiha is produced in 24 specific Mastiha Villages, Mastihohoria, in the southern, coastal area of Chios.

Cooking With Mastic Tears

Cooking with mastic tears is very special. Before you start, smell the flavor. How do you like it?

Mastic is a precious, extremely versatile spice that enhances just about every dish. It has a distinctive flavor, fresh and slightly pine-like. A small amount goes a long way. Too much can leave a bitter aftertaste.

Give your favorite dinner dish a new flavor, follow one of our starter recipes, or find your favorite recipe on our website. Important! Decide first how you prefer to use the included Mastic Tears pouch, as a flavored oil or ground powder. Both ways need different preparations.

Choose one of these two preparations for your Mastic Tears:

  • Mastic infused olive oil (see recipe below)
  • Grind Mastic Tears (see recipe below)

Mastic Recipe Inspirations

We selected some recipes that you can make with your mastic infused olive oil:

  • Drizzle 1-2 tbsp mastic oil over salads, vegetables, or feta. Find the recipe for Halloumi Salad below.
  • Reheat cooked broccoli or another firm vegetable in 1 tbsp mastic oil and garlic. Serve as a side.
  • Roasted Pepper, Mastiha and Goat Cheese Spread – recipe
  • Warm Spinach-Orange Salad with Mastiha Scented Olive Oil – recipe (the recipe refers to 1/3 tbsp mastic infused olive oil)
  • Warm Vegetable Taboule Seasoned with Chios Mastiha – recipe

This a selection of recipes that you can make with your ground mastic:

  • In a PAN, fry cardamom 1 minute in 2 tbsp oil. Add ground meat and/or small vegetables. Season with salt, pepper, and ground mastic to taste. Fry until done.
  • Savory rice porridge (see recipe below).
  • Spaghetti with Fresh Mastiha-Tomato Sauce and Bocconcini – recipe
  • Greek Fries with Homemade Mastiha Scented Ketchup – recipe
  • Plum and Purslane Salad with Mastiha-Lemon Vinaigrette – recipe
  • Orange Chicken with Cinnamon, Ginger and Mastiha – recipe (make half of the recipe for 4 servings)
  • Asparagus Sautéed with Mastiha-Butter. Optional: Double all ingredients, except the asparagus, and add 1 lb shrimps. – recipe
  • Skilled-Seared Lamb Chops Rubbed with Mastiha – recipe
  • Greek cake recipes with ground mastic tears (see recipes below).
  • Orange Poached Pears Dipped in Dark Chocolate and Mastiha – recipe (make half of the recipe for 5 desserts).
  • Greek rice pudding (see recipe below).

The Mastic Tears Culinary Spice Kit includes the following spices:

  • Small Mastic Tears
  • Green cardamom pods (organic)

The complete recipe spice kit or just mastic tears are also available in our shop. Limited time only!

Discover New Flavors

Print Recipe
Mastic Infused Olive Oil
Cuisine Greek
Servings
Ingredients
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp small mastic tears
Cuisine Greek
Servings
Ingredients
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp small mastic tears
Instructions
  1. In a small POT, heat olive oil over low heat.
  2. Add all mastic tears and stir over low heat until they are dissolved.
  3. Pour oil into a glass container and let cool.
  4. It keeps fresh in a cool, dark place.
  5. Always stir or shake oil before using it.
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Grind Mastic Tears
Cuisine Greek
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp small mastic tears
Cuisine Greek
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp small mastic tears
Instructions
Freeze
  1. Place pouch with mastic tears for 1 hour in the freezer.
Grind with mortar and pestle
  1. Grind with a mortar and pestle half or all mastic tears with 1 tsp salt or sugar, depending on your recipe. For sweet recipes use 1 tsp sugar, for savory recipes 1 tsp salt.
Grind without mortar and pestle
  1. Place mastic tears on a flat surface.
  2. Cover mastic tears with a large piece of plastic wrap.
  3. Roll over the plastic wrap with a baking pin until all mastic tears are pulverized.
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Rizogalo Rice Pudding
Cuisine Greek
Servings
3-4
Ingredients
Shopping list
  • 1/2 cup rice rinsed with cold water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar use less or more to taste
  • 1/2-1 tsp small mastic tears ground
Optional
  • 1 stick stick cinnamon or cinnamon powder
  • 3 pods cardamom
Cuisine Greek
Servings
3-4
Ingredients
Shopping list
  • 1/2 cup rice rinsed with cold water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar use less or more to taste
  • 1/2-1 tsp small mastic tears ground
Optional
  • 1 stick stick cinnamon or cinnamon powder
  • 3 pods cardamom
Instructions
  1. 1/2 cup rice, rinsed with cold water
  2. 1/2 cup milk
  3. 1/4 cup sugar (use less or more to taste)
  4. 1/2-1 tsp mastic (ground)
  5. Optional:
  6. 1 stick cinnamon or cinnamon powder
  7. 3 pods cardamom
  8. In a POT, add rice and 1 cup cold water with a pinch of salt.
  9. Optional: Add cinnamon and/ or cardamom.
  10. Cover. Bring to boil.
  11. Turn heat to low and cook for 15-30 minutes until the rice is cooked. The time depends on the type of rice.
  12. Add milk and sugar. Mix well.
  13. Stir in ground mastic. Start with 1/2 tsp. Add more to your taste.
  14. Cover. Bring to boil.
  15. Turn heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes, until the rice thickens.
  16. Fill rice pudding in 3-4 dessert dishes.
  17. Let cool for 30 minutes.
  18. Let cool in the fridge for 1 hour.
  19. Enjoy!
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Halloumi Salad
Cuisine Greek
Servings
3-4
Ingredients
Shopping list
  • 2 oz pack Halloumi cheese or firm mozzarella or firm tofu about 8each
  • 1 Frisee lettuce or your lettuce of choice
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 baguette
You might have
  • 1-2 oranges
  • 1 tbsp mastic olive oil
  • oil
  • salty & pepper
Cuisine Greek
Servings
3-4
Ingredients
Shopping list
  • 2 oz pack Halloumi cheese or firm mozzarella or firm tofu about 8each
  • 1 Frisee lettuce or your lettuce of choice
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 baguette
You might have
  • 1-2 oranges
  • 1 tbsp mastic olive oil
  • oil
  • salty & pepper
Instructions
Prepare oranges
  1. Peel the oranges.
  2. With a sharp knife, remove the peel and white pith from the sections.
Mix vinaigrette
  1. In a BOWL, mix mastic olive oil with 1 tbsp orange juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Fry cheese
  1. In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat.
  2. Cut halloumi into thin slices (8 slices per pack) and fry for about 2 minutes until golden on both sides, and it begins to melt.
Assemble
  1. Distribute lettuce on plates.
  2. Place cherry tomatoes and orange sections on lettuce.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle with vinaigrette.
  5. Place halloumi slices on top.
  6. Enjoy!
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Savory Rice Porridge
Cuisine Greek
Servings
3-4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb grilled meat and/or grilled vegetables
  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups broth
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 lemon for juice
  • 1 tbsp parsley chopped
  • 4 tomato/es chopped
  • 1 clove garlic grated
  • green cardamom pods
  • 1/2-1 tsp ground mastic
  • salt
Cuisine Greek
Servings
3-4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb grilled meat and/or grilled vegetables
  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups broth
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 lemon for juice
  • 1 tbsp parsley chopped
  • 4 tomato/es chopped
  • 1 clove garlic grated
  • green cardamom pods
  • 1/2-1 tsp ground mastic
  • salt
Instructions
Rice
  1. In a POT, add rice, broth, cardamom and salt to taste.
  2. Cover. Bring to boil. Turn heat to low. Cook until rice is done.
  3. Optional: Add 1/2 cup milk and cook about 5 minutes until the rice thickens
  4. Take cardamom out.
Mastic Butter
  1. In a small POT, melt butter with ground mastic to taste over low heat.
Serve
  1. Drizzle butter over plated rice.
  2. Serve with grilled meat and/or veggies.
  3. Add a tomato salad seasoned with 1 tbsp lemon juice, fresh parsley, and garlic. No oil.
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Orange Semolina Cake
Cuisine Greek
Servings
Ingredients
Shopping list for the batter
  • 1.5 cup semolina
  • 0.5 cup sugar use to taste: up to 0.25less or more
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 0.25-0.5 tsp ground small mastic tears
  • 1.5 cup yogurt
  • 0.5 c milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
Shopping list for the syrup
  • 0.75 cup sugar use to taste: 0.25less or up to 0.75more
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 green cardamom pods optional
  • 1 stick cinnamon optional
Shopping list for garnish (optional)
  • 1 orange halved and sliced
  • 0.5 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup ice cream vanilla or orange flavor
Cuisine Greek
Servings
Ingredients
Shopping list for the batter
  • 1.5 cup semolina
  • 0.5 cup sugar use to taste: up to 0.25less or more
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 0.25-0.5 tsp ground small mastic tears
  • 1.5 cup yogurt
  • 0.5 c milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
Shopping list for the syrup
  • 0.75 cup sugar use to taste: 0.25less or up to 0.75more
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 green cardamom pods optional
  • 1 stick cinnamon optional
Shopping list for garnish (optional)
  • 1 orange halved and sliced
  • 0.5 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup ice cream vanilla or orange flavor
Instructions
Syrup
  1. In a small POT, add bring 0.5 cup of water to boil.
  2. Stir in sugar until dissolved.
  3. Optional: Add cardamom or cinnamon.
  4. Mix in orange juice. Return to a boil.
  5. Turn heat to low and cook slowly for about 10 minutes. The syrup shall have thickened but still be runny.
  6. Remove and let cool.
Batter
  1. In a BOWL, mix semolina with sugar, baking soda, and mastic.
  2. Add yogurt, milk, and lemon juice.
  3. With an ELECTRIC MIXER, beat until the batter is creamy.
Bake
  1. Preheat OVEN to 350°F.
  2. Spread a thinly layer of butter onto a BAKING PAN.
  3. Pour the batter into the BAKING PAN.
  4. Bake for about 1 to 1.5 hours until its baked and lightly golden.
  5. If the top turns brown before it fully baked, cover the pan with aluminum foil for the remaining baking time.
  6. Take the BAKING PAN out.
  7. Pour syrup over hot cake.
  8. Let cool.
Serve
  1. Sprinkle cake with powdered sugar.
  2. Serve cake with orange slices and/or ice cream.
Recipe Notes

Here are some Greek cake recipes. For all you can add ground mastic tears to the batter to get this special flavor:

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