Anyone here know anything about mastic?
#11
  Re: (...)
Just discovered an interesting-sounding recipe, but it uses an ingredient of which I have never heard. So far, I haven't searched to see if is available here, but I'd like to learn more about it (MORE than I've already found with Google, that is), especially what can be used as a substitute, if possible.

That ingredient is "mastic" (or almáciga in Spanish, in the recipe).

Here's the recipe (which doesn't say much about quantities) as translated from three different Spanish sources:

Chicken Soup with Cardamom

Ingredients:
  • 1 Medium chicken, cut into pieces
  • 4 Cups Water
  • 2 Onions, peeled
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of Mastic
  • Pinch of Cardamom (one source said 1 Tsp, of cardamom, but did not use the mastic)
  • 1/2 Onion, diced
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 4 Oz Fine noodles or pasta stars
Instructions:
  1. Put the water, onion, salt, pepper, cardamom and mastic, and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the chicken and cook until white.
  3. Remove the chicken, mix it in with the diced onion, salt, pepper and lemon juice, and allow it to marinate long enough to allow it to cool
  4. Discard the diced onion and fry the chicken in a skillet with the olive oil.
  5. Meanwhile, add the noodles or stars to the broth and boil until done.
  6. Add the chicken pieces back into the broth and heat until everything is heated through.
If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?
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#12
  Re: Anyone here know anything about mastic? by labradors (Just discovered an i...)
I've never heard of it. Since I'm assuming it's found in Latin cuisine, I'm not surprised. Maybe Cubangirl has heard of it. I'll be anxious to hear what it is or is like.
Daphne
Keep your mind wide open.
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#13
  Re: Anyone here know anything about mastic? by labradors (Just discovered an i...)
You can buy it on Amazon. It's used in middle eastern, Greek cooking. The taste is described as "piney". Other than that ??????? Sounds interesting.
You only live once . . . but if you do it right once should be enough!
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#14
  Re: Re: Anyone here know anything about mastic? by Harborwitch (You can buy it on Am...)
Aren't juniper berries "piney"? Could this be used to sub?
Daphne
Keep your mind wide open.
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#15
  Re: Re: Anyone here know anything about mastic? by Gourmet_Mom (Aren't juniper berri...)
I'm not real sure since mastic is mostly used for sweets??? I guess one would just have to try it.
You only live once . . . but if you do it right once should be enough!
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#16
  Re: Re: Anyone here know anything about mastic? by Harborwitch (I'm not real sure si...)
After posting my question here, I happened to find an interesting blog called Confessions of a Cardamom Addict, and emailed the blogger (named Jasmine) to see if she had encountered this recipe, or knew anything about the mastic. She responded very quickly, and here is what she said:
Quote:

Mastic? Wow--I think the last recipe I saw using that was from Mediaeval times. Seriously.

It's a resin from a plant or tree I think is related somehow to the Pistachio family and is very sticky (think chicle/Chicklets). It is pungent with a pine-like aroma--it's not a "main" flavour, but will be used in small quantities to support other flavours, in this case the cardamom. From the quantity used below, it looks as if it really does use mastic, since I've only seen it as a pinch or a 1/4 tsp for four+ servings.

It's still available in little resinous teardrop-like lozenges...it sort of looks like rock or crystal sugar...you should be able to find it in Middle Eastern/Muslim/North Indian shops.

I would try putting a splash of Ouzo (near the end of cooking) or 1/4 tsp of anise seeds, one small crushed star of anise (at the beginning) You could also try some fennel.



There IS an import store here that, although not truly a "Middle-Eastern store," does carry some Middle-Eastern products (because the owner is of Arabic descent, and there are Arabs, here, who came to Honduras decades ago because they were Catholic, and needed to escape being hunted down by Muslims in their own countries for not being Muslim). That store could have the mastic, but I'll check a couple other places, as well, since even the supermarkets have some surprises, at times.
If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?
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#17
  Re: Re: Anyone here know anything about mastic? by labradors (After posting my que...)
Retsina is a Greek wine form. In Greece some wine is treated with a pine resin. It produces a wine with a sappy, turpentine flavor-an aquired taste. I like a mild form. I'll bet Jasmine is refering to this flavor and that's what you are looking for.Maybe a rosemary stem?
"He who sups with the devil should have a. long spoon".
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#18
  Re: Re: Anyone here know anything about mastic? by Old Bay (Retsina is a Greek w...)
Love retsina. We've got a bottle in the wine cooler just waiting for a wonderful Greek dinner. Very much an acquired taste.
You only live once . . . but if you do it right once should be enough!
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#19
  Re: Anyone here know anything about mastic? by labradors (Just discovered an i...)
Sorry, I've never seen a recipe that called for it. I've heard of it regarding gum and dental work. I would guess that if helps with binding as well as providing a smokey taste.
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#20
  Re: Re: Anyone here know anything about mastic? by Cubangirl (Sorry, I've never se...)
I saw this and thought it was a question about adhesive! I have a tube in the basement...
Well, I have learned my "something new" for today!
Vicci

my cooking adventures
http://www.victoriasdays.blogspot.com
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