Much of Chios’  mastic gum industry went up in  smoke over the past week when a fire destroyed about the half of island’s  mastic trees.  Environmental disaster and extensive economic damage were the results of the wildfire. 
“Some 3,000 families live off the gum trees, which are the main source of income in the south of Chios, while many more supplement their incomes with mastic production,” Madalas- the managing director of Mediterra, a Chios Masticha Growers Association- told Kathimerini newspaper.
He also said that it takes an average of five to seven years before the Pistacia lentiscus begins producing the golden resin.” (ekathimerini)
Since Chios produces between 20-25% of the world’s mastic crop and its masticha has unique flavor,  the results of fire will affect not only Chios producers and Greek economy but the availability and price of mastic  too.  

For all of you out there interested in masticha there is a worth reading article,
 The Geography of the Chios Mastic Trade from the 17th through to the 19th Century” by D. Ierapetritis.
“It aims firstly to present the botanical aspect of Chios Mastic, the mastic tree (P. lentiscus var chia), as well as the cultivation and harvesting methods of the produce. Secondly, by investigating the historical sources it aims to present the geography of the mastic trade in the East and West from the 17th through to the 19th century, while at the same time analyzing the monopoly trade system established by the Ottoman State. Thirdly, it analyzes the international demand for the Chios mastic during this same period in the international markets, focussing on the beneficial qualities attributed to it. Finally, it examines the validity of the information published in geographical and traveller’s journals during the period in question, evaluating the conclusions of the relevant modern scientific research. This article is based mainly on studying sources such as geographical and traveller’s manuscripts dated back from the 17th until the 19th century, which are kept in the “Korais” Central Public Historical Library, as well as other historical sources examining the period in question.”



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