Listed 6 sub titles with search on: Local products
for destination: "CHIOS
Local products (6)
Products of Chios
- Chios Prefecture Tourism Committee WebPage
Ancient authors' reports
Fine cloth was made at Chios
- Cloth Chios: Perseus Lookup Tool, text search
- Perseus: Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary
A species of carbuncle found in the island of Chios.
- Perseus: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)
The Wounded Tree
If a trademark were to be established for Chios, then surely it would
be the mastic tree. It is a gift and at the same time a curse since it has always
been the bone of contention for conquerors. This evergreen tree called Schinos,
belongs to the botanical family Pistachia. The average growth of the tree ranges
from 6 to 10 feet tall and it begins to produce mastic at the age of 5 to 6 years
old. This amazing tree thrives within the 21 mastic villages of southern Chios
The oldest references to mastic have been traced back to Herodotes
in the 5th Century B.C. The people of Ancient
Greece chewed mastic to whiten their teeth and if you think about it, mastic
was the unique chewing gum even then! During the Roman period, toothpicks were
made from the mastic tree and the use of mastic spread to the harems of the East.
Tradition says that God blessed the mastic tree which began to "cry"
in 250 A.D., when St. Isidoros cried out in pain during his martyrdom.
The Magical Tears
Mastic has a plethora of qualities and uses. It absorbs cholesterol,
is an antibacterial acts as an oral antiseptic, aids digestion, tightens the gums,
heals wounds and scientists recently discovered that when it is administrated
in small doses it cures stomach ulcers.
Aside from the medical aspects, these magical tears are used in distilleries
to produce mastic liqueur and mastic-flavored ouzo called mastichato.
There are also culinary uses for mastic. For example, mastic is used
in baking and in sweets such as biscuits, mastic ice cream, and mastic sweets
of the spoon.
In a refined form, it is also used as the primary ingredient for toothpaste,
shampoos, perfumes, in frankincense, and varnish.
Kendos- The Incision
The collection of mastic begins when the mastic producers clean the
area under the tree and they cover it with white clay so that the tears will stay
clear and dry faster as they fall to the ground. The kendos begins in June and
lasts through September.
The mastic producers make an incision along the tree trunk in the
shape of an arch with the kentitiri. Their day begins early before sunrise and
they make their way to the fields with their donkeys in one of the most picturesque
scenes ever seen on the island those days. The mastic growers are suitably dressed
and well equipped in their endeavor, racing against the sun, trying to avoid his
The curing of the mastic tree ends before the sun reaches its highest
point. When the tears have been coagulated, the mastic laborers use the timitiri
to gather the precious crystals. Every little piece of this natural product is
collected even if it is mixed with dust.
The narrow streets of the mastic villages come alive as the mastic
collectors start the tahtarisma (sifting), the cleaning of the crystals with soap
and cold water, the drying and the scratching of the mastic tears. This is a social
If you visit the mastic villages during that period you will feel
the warmth of the people prevailing in every corner of the village.
After all, isn’t this the real magic of mastic?
This text is cited May 2004 from the Promoting Tourism Prefectural Committee of Chios URL below.
- Chios Prefecture Tourism Committee WebPage
Chios is called "myrovolos", meaning fragrant. That should
not surprise you, since the fragrances of Kambos surround you from the very first
moment you begin strolling through the green nucleus of the island. Narrow streets,
high stone walls, thick, green leaves will emerge everywhere and surround you
with their precious aroma.
The cultivation of citrus trees was a new culture imported by the
Genoans (1348-1566), who were cruel conquerors yet clever traders. As soon as
they realized that the evergreen trees thrive on the water enriched soil deposits,
they started to import them from Italy.
Kambos exhibited these characteristics primarily, and was thereby transformed
into a huge, orange orchard. The Chians also imported orange trees from Africa,
since the tree’s cultivation was so successful. It is worth noting here
that the tangerine trees were not imported by the Genoans, as many people want
to believe, but by the Chian family of Horemi who imported them from India
around 1860-62. They were first cultivated in the family’s orchard and were
then planted in Kambos.
Kambos is a region where the water deposits favor the cultivation
of the "Esperides’ Golden Apples" as the ancient Greeks used to
call the oranges. When one wanders the various paths of Kambos, one can use their
sense of smell and imagination to ‘see’ the orchards through the huge,
stone walls that surround them in order to keep the south winds and the winter's
cold away. The trees are extremely sensitive to cold weather and high winds. The
cultivators have paid a high price as a result of this sensitivity and have suffered
major losses. Their experience has taught them to light small fires in between
the trees on their estates in order to generate warmth and protect the trees.
The leaves of the trees also create a green 'roof' that keeps the warmth of the
fire between them and thus, protect the crop.
The cultivators collect the fruits one by one and put them into boxes.
Tangerine collection begins in November, while oranges are collected in December.
The cultivators either sell their "golden fruits" or bring them to the
Agricultural Association of Chios’ Citrus Cultivators and to other small
sized manufactures in order to produce juice. For centuries, fruits were sold
by piece. The collectors put them in groups of five and delivered them to traders.
The German conquerors introduced the weighing method and it was so practical that
it is stil used today.
In the old days, Chios’ citrus fruits were
exported to Constantinople (Istanbul)
to the Black Sea, to Izmir,
to Egypt and to the East
by dealers that were freighting ships especially for that reason. Since 1930,
as soon as the Associations first appeared, the Chians were also exporting to
the countries of Eastern Europe.
Today... Citrus fruits are not only consumed as fruits.
The Agricultural Association of Chios’ Citrus Cultivators and to other small
sized manufactures use these precious treasures to produce refreshments and fresh
juices. Homemakers, as well as large manufacturers also make spoon sweets and
essential oils from these fruits.
This text is cited May 2004 from the Promoting Tourism Prefectural Committee of Chios URL below, which contains images.
- Chios Prefecture Tourism Committee web page