Not Martha

Mastica gelato at Fainting Goat

The other week I tried Mastica gelato at Fainting Goat here in Seattle. Mastica is, according to the menu, a tree resin from the Greek Aisle Kronos, and according to the Greek friend I happened to be there with it’s a traditional flavor. I expected it to taste like juniper or pine, or maybe to taste the way that pad of resin smells when a violinist resins their bow. But it wasn’t like any of those things. It was delicate and herbal and not too sweet. Sort of refreshing, very interesting. I’m so glad I didn’t go with the chocolate I had been thinking about on the way in.

· comments [21] · 08-11-2011 · categories:food · seattle ·

21 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nancy // Aug 11, 2011 at 10:04 am

    They make a wonderful liquour out of Mastic in Greece, wish I could get it here in the US.

  • 2 megan // Aug 11, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I wonder if import food shops might have it? I’ll keep an eye out, Pike Place Market here seems to have everything.

  • 3 Marcela // Aug 11, 2011 at 10:26 am

    I live in Cyprus and Mastica is very common here, there are tons of products made from it.

  • 4 megan // Aug 11, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Marcela – Please do tell us what else is made from it! Wikipedia only really mentions the liquor.

  • 5 Red // Aug 11, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Ahh! I tried Fainting Goat last month when I was visiting and it was fabulous! I’m delighted to see it’s made the blogsphere.

  • 6 Sugar Angel // Aug 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    The Greek island’s name is CHIOS, not Krinos.

  • 7 fbikat // Aug 11, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Mastiha, mastic gum, etc. is actually from the Greek island of Chios (Krinos is a brand of Greek products). You can probably order it online. I have never been, but there is a shop in NY called Mastiha Shop devoted to all things mastiha. It’s used in baking, skin care products and certain forms of it can be chewed like gum. It also aids digestion.

  • 8 Ryan // Aug 11, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Sounds fabulous!

  • 9 Seanna Lea // Aug 12, 2011 at 3:03 am

    One of my friends makes Salep ice cream, which uses mastic as one of its ingredients. It is super interesting, especially when she makes it the more traditional way with a beater.

  • 10 megan // Aug 12, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Sugar Angel and Fbikat – Ha! I’m just quoting from the menu above :)

    Fbikat – Thanks so much for the tip about the Mastiha Shop, I want some gum now!

    Seanna Lea – I’ll see if Ican find some of that someday, sounds great.

  • 11 Kristina L // Aug 12, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Sounds fascinating! I’ll add Fainting Goat to my must-do list for when I someday visit Seattle.

  • 12 TheUrbanMum // Aug 12, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Oh – this sounds delicious. When I started reading the post I immediately thought of the Retsina drink I consumed as a young Student – not pleasant. So glad your gelato experience wasn’t like this at all…. x

  • 13 Jessica // Aug 12, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    I’ve just come from a year in Greece and mastica is not my thing… but Fainting Goat is lovely. I just had their Mohito sherbet last week and it was perfect on a lovely summer day.

  • 14 Jessica // Aug 12, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    Oh! Also, this shop just opened up in Seattle (last week or so) http://www.theshopagora.com/shop/index.php and they would probably be a good source for getting anything Greek (and I’m sure they can get it if they don’t already carry it).

  • 15 Olivia First // Aug 14, 2011 at 1:37 am

    Have you tried Orchid Ice Cream with Mastic? “Kaimaki” means “cream” and this ice cream has a double dose! It’s a classic preparation made with gum mastic and salepi

  • 16 Paige // Aug 16, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I love Fainting Goat gelato! Amazing stuff.

  • 17 jeannette // Aug 16, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Have you tried the Olive Oil Sundae at Molly Moon yet?????? OMG.

  • 18 megan // Aug 16, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Jeannette – I have not, I don’t think it was on the menu the last time I was there. I’ll have to seek it out!

  • 19 megan // Aug 16, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Olivia First – I’ve never heard of that, thanks so much. I’ll find it.

  • 20 lisa // Aug 19, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    you can get mastic at many Middle Eastern food stores as well (since it’s also used in a number of middle eastern and north african sweet treats.) If you want to buy some, try and smell it first- some doesn’t smell as much, and I’ve noticed that if it doesn’t smell much, it doesn’t taste much either. (by the way, there’s a recipe for delicious mastic ice cream in the Floating Cloudberries cookbook if you’ve seen that)

  • 21 Christina // Aug 31, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    hello,
    i just saw all the comments above , and as a greek myself, i would like to add some more info about mastiha. As mentioned , it s a raisin, coming from mastiha trees, located only in Chios island. After the crop, the raisin hardens, so in pastry or in cooking recipes it is mainly used as a powder. The taste is very unique and distinctive, fresh and a little bit sweet. In kaimaki ice-cream, mastiha is the main ingredient. Mastiha shop is an organic-philosophy greek store, with products based on mastiha, and as i know, except of beauty products, they also have edible ones, like spreads, jams, liquers etc. some extra info about where someone can use mastiha. Tsoureki is a very tasty brioche-like bun, samali is another traditional “cake” with semolina and syrop frangraced with mastiha. A nice idea is to make mastiha-flavored sugar:)

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