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Old 10-11-2004, 02:56 PM   #1
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Mastiha



Mastiha is a Greek liqueur made from mastic gum shown on right in above picture. It has a unique flavor. The two closest common flavors that I can think of are banana and pink bubblegum, but it is as far from these flavors as they are from each other.

Mastic gum flavoring is useful in sweet pastry and cookies because it accentuates the flavor of sweet dough. People have described cookies flavored with mastiha as having extra doughy flavor.

This stuff is getting harder and harder to buy. Chicago had a small Greek neighborhood near my house, which is now gone. To replenish my stock today, I had to drive into Greektown where it takes half an hour to find parking. The Athens Grocery Store only had one bottle left. Incidentally, it is not expensive at $13.99, but Chicago sales tax is 9%.

Mastic essential oil exists, but all my sources are out of stock.

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Old 10-11-2004, 03:13 PM   #2
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Interesting, aruzinsky. What do you use the liquer for? And where do you get the mastic gum?

Don't know where the Athens Grocery Store is in Greektown, but when I worked in a building at Monroe and Canal (east of the expressway) there was a small parking lot on the street behind Monroe that never seemed to be too full. It's within walking distance of the Greektown restaurants. Would that help you out with the parking problem?
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Old 10-11-2004, 03:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudbug
Interesting, aruzinsky. What do you use the liquer for? And where do you get the mastic gum?

Don't know where the Athens Grocery Store is in Greektown, but when I worked in a building at Monroe and Canal (east of the expressway) there was a small parking lot on the street behind Monroe that never seemed to be too full. It's within walking distance of the Greektown restaurants. Would that help you out with the parking problem?
I meant free parking. Athens Grocery is at 324 S. Halsted St.. You can also buy mastic gum there, but it is not a cost effective flavoring because it costs about $3 for 0.6 oz. You get more flavor bang for the buck with mastiha.

I use mastiha to flavor cookies, pastries, icecream and eggnog.
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Old 10-11-2004, 03:35 PM   #4
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Didn't know it was possible to find much of ANY free parking in Chicago anymore! I suppose you hafta know where to look. When I lived there (in those ugly high rises right across from Greektown) I didn't own a car and blew a small fortune on cabs to get around.
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Old 10-11-2004, 03:41 PM   #5
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Heck, when I worked in Chicago (short TDY there for the Air Force, about 2 months of intensive programming in a high-rise in downtown), we walked everywhere. We stayed in the Swisshotel and just sorta wandered around in our spare time. Found a couple of GREAT pubs and restaurants.
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Old 10-11-2004, 04:06 PM   #6
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Chicago used to have a large number of specialty food stores that are now gone. Downtown, on Washington St. (or was it Randolf?), half a block west of State St, were two gourmet grocery stores next to each other, Stop and Shop, and Hillmans. In 1984 I walk into what I thought was Stop and Shop, and it was gone, replaced by a store filled with Xmas trees. I actually cried. There was Kuhn's Delicatessen and Liquors on 3053 N. Lincoln Ave. which had a complete selection of German food. Gone (I think it moved to Deerfield.) There was an exotic grocery store called Conte Di Savoia, which moved and changed into a restaurant.

Even in my local mall, there are less specialty food stores, less cookie shops, less nut shops, less candy shops. Except for the internet, everything is getting worse.
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Old 10-11-2004, 04:53 PM   #7
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Weeks, I agree on the great pubs and restaurants. Chicago is a super food town - all nationalities represented.

Aruz., I remember the Stop and Shop. They used to have the most wonderful HUGE chocolate-covered strawberries. I was shocked when it closed because it always seemed to be packed.
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Old 10-12-2004, 03:27 PM   #8
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I want some of that.
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