When I was a kid, I visited Greece twice. What I remember most about the trips is eating chocolate flake covered coconut bars and mastic flavored spoon sweets. Today in Greece, you can find mastic flavored bread, ice cream, sweets, and even high-quality mastic liquors and distillers.

Mastic drinks existed in antiquity as well. Marcus Gaius’ Roman Cookbook makes note of a drink made with it. It was a mixture of wine, honey, pepper, laurel leaves, saffron, and mastic. All ingredients were boiled together and the drink was served either cold or warm. Roman emperors used mastic along with honey, pepper, and egg in the spiced wine conditum paradoxum.

Mastic resin comes from the masic tree (Pistacia lentiscus), which is found most famously on Chios.
The word mastic comes from the ancient Greek verb "mastichao," which means "to chew." The name suggests that mastic trees resin has been used as chewing gum for much longer than as a flavoring.

The resin is said to have medicinal properties and ancient Hellenic writers praised it for its ability to cure intestinal problems, bad breath and as a remedy for snakebites. Hippokrates said chewing the resin helped cure the common cold. It was also considered good for the skin. Modern research has shown that mastic contains antioxidants and has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It helps lower total serum cholesterol, and chewing the tears helps prevent tooth decay.

The knowhow of the production of Chios mastic is considered became an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2014 and its production is protected by UNESCO.