Chios is a blessed island. Its fertile ground combined with the mediterranean climate enable the cultivation of many, different, high – quality products.
Its miraculous beneficial properties are known since antiquity. It is antibacterial, helps mouth hygiene and strengthens the gums, can cure stomach ulcers and helps in treating cholesterol problems. Recent scientific research has also proved that mastic has anticancer properties.
Before leaving Chios, you can choose among a variety of products with mastiha, according to your needs and taste.
Natural chios mastiha, but also chicklets, candies, ouzo, liqueur, mastiha sweets, cosmetics, perfumes, aromatic natural soaps and candles, all with the sweet smelling fragrance and the miraculous healing properties of mastiha.
Chios is also known as the fragrant island, because of the intense cultivation of citrus fruits. Especially in the evergreen area of Kampos there are fragrant orchards with tangerines, sweet and bitter oranges, lemons and citrus fruits. Chios tangerine is a product of Protected Geographical Indication (P.G.I), characterized by its intense fragrance and unique taste.
In the past, Chios citrus fruits were sold abroad by the piece, as a luxury item. Apart from the aromatic citrus fruits, you can enjoy excellent juices and soft drinks, but also the famous fruit preserves and spoon sweets, like sweet and sour orange, lemon flower, lemon. These are sweets made from the skin of the fruit, cooked in sweet sirup.
The Chios ouzo played a predominant role in social life. It was introduced to the table ritual as a welcome, greeting and appetizer drink. It is a customary accompaniment for seafood and fish. Chios is abundant in spices and aromatic herbs, which help to produce a light and smooth ouzo, based on the classic anise and fennel in a background of coriander as well as the unique mastic, depending on the recipe. Clearly distinct from the local raki, called ‘souma’, which is produced from figs, the Chios ouzo is still distilled largely in small copper stills of traditional family firms. The Chios ouzo is produced by local family - run distilleries on the island that continue the tradition for many years.
It is customary to offer a sweet preserve as a dessert. In recent years, it is also popular to serve rose or sour cherry preserve with yoghurt.
Another sweet preserve intertwined with local tradition is mastic sweet, made from Chios mastiha and sugar. It is called “submarine” because a spoonful of the sweet is served submerged in a glass of cool water. In recent years, moer creative versions of this classic sweet can be found, such as “submarine” with lemon aroma.
You can try all the above tastes produced on Chios island by local family run businesses.
Wine "Ariousios Oinos"
The ships would transport and trade it in amphorae all over the known world. It was also famous during the roman and byzantine years.
Recently the production of Ariousios Oinos has been revived thanks to investments in wine making especially in northern Chios.
(Source: Spanos, Grigoris, Ariousios Oinos, the wine of Chios, Ariousios S.A., Chios, 2007)
Three types of honey are mainly produced in Chios: The flower honey with a distinctive flavor and aroma of citrus fruit, the pine honey that is also known for its wonderful aroma, and the brighter and thicker thyme honey. The distinctive honey of Chios, but also honey with mastiha flavor can be found in all the grocery stores.
In recent years, the production of organic aromatic herbs has become standarized. You can find aromatic herbs which can be used in cooking, such as oregano, thyme and spearmint, but also as beverages, such as camomile and sage, or in body hygiene and pharmaceutics, such as hypericum and lavender.
Edible olives, “Chios throuba”
From end October to early Decemver the distillation process takes place, which is not only a productive process but also social event.Often during the distillation, friends will gather and pass the time with local meze and music.
Every producer follows their own recipe, adding other fruits and spices to the figs, such as anise and mastiha. The basic difference is that anise and mastiha are mostly used in the villages of the south, but not so much by producers in the north of Chios.