Tears of (pure eating) joy…
Trees and plants are so generous with their fruits, nuts, berries, bark, sap and resins. One resin that is well-known throughout Greece is ‘Mastic’ (Μαστίχα) – an aromatic resin obtained from mastic trees (Pistacia lentiscus) that grow predominantly on the island of Chios. Chios has the necessary ecological requirements for the trees to grow and its production on the island is now protected by a European Union designation of origin.
When mastic trees have matured, incisions are made along their trunks, from which the resin slowly oozes, drips and falls like heavy tears to the ground. The ground beneath the trees is covered with a heavy layer of calcium carbonate, so the mastic tears are not soiled when they fall. The mastic tears are sticky and soft when they first fall and the calcium carbonate helps to harden them too. The harvest takes place during summer and the mastic is sorted and cleaned for the coming months.
Mastic imparts the most beautiful aroma to baked goods. KO’s Koulourakia, includes mastic, which is frozen and then pulverised before being added to the batter. It really elevates the flavour and eating experience of these delicious Greek Easter cookies.
Make them now and taste the difference for yourself!