Mastic (Pistacia lentiscus), an evergreen shrub or small tree of the    Pistacio familygrowing up to 4 m (13 ft) tall which is cultivated for its  aromatic resin, mainly on the Greek island of Chios. It is native throughout the Mediterranean region, from Morocco  and Iberia in the west through southern France and Turkey to Syria and Israel in the east. The aromatic, ivory colored resin, also known as mastic is harvested as a spice from the cultivated mastic trees grown in the south of the Greek island of Chios in the Aegean Sea, where it is also  known by the name "Chios Tears". Originally liquid, it is sun dried into drops of hard, brittle, translucent resin. The resin is collected by bleeding the trees from small cuts made in the bark of the main branches, and allowing the sap to drip onto the specially prepared ground below. The harvesting is done during the summer months between June and September. After the mastic is collected it is washed manually and spread in the sun to dry.
For reasons that are not entirely understood, only the trees in the southern part of the island of Chios produce the distinctively flavored resin. The island's mastic production is controlled by a co-operative of medieval villages, collectively known as the 'Mastichochoria' which are also located in the southern part of Chios.