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Chios Mastiha is a natural, aromatic translucent resin produced from the mastic tree, a large shrub, which only grows on the Island of Chios in the southern part of the Greek Islands. With a sweet smell and a pine-like flavor, mastiha also has many health benefits. And, mastiha is the Please The Palate pick of the week. I first tried mastiha when I went to Greece. Having a small glass of mastiha liqueur, instead of ouzo, is very common as a digestive after a nice meal. And if you buy a pack of gum in the airport or at a local pharmacy, you will find mastiha gum. The word "mastic" comes from the Greek word "mastichein" which means "to gnash the teeth." Mastiha has been scientifically proven to have beneficial properties and is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. It is good for healing wounds and for skin regeneration. It can be a digestive and used in oral hygiene such as toothpaste. Mastiha comes in different forms: crystal, powder, capsules, oil and gum and it also comes in a liqueur.
This story was originally published in the Napa Valley Register. There was a time when Los Angeles was the winemaking capital of California. This was back in the late 1800s but today there is still a living link to Los Angeles’ winemaking past. Located in Lincoln Heights on the east side of downtown Los Angeles, San Antonio Winery is celebrating their 100th anniversary. Grapevines from Bordeaux were first brought to Los Angeles in 1833 by French winemaker Jean-Louis Vignes, the founder of California’s wine industry. As Italians migrated to Los Angeles, many started to make wine. In 1917, Santo Cambianica founded San Antonio Winery, dedicating it to his patron saint St. Anthony.