If I had a crystal ball, I would predict that mastic is the next big superfood. Its often seen here at Toasty Cupboard in baked goods and I use it in elixirs some times but its history is vast. Used for centuries in Greece, it is a resin that is grown on pine trees on the islands of Chios which in my opinion is the only place to purchase it from and luckily for you there is an entire shop, The Mastic Shop, dedicated to it and ships worldwide. The resin balls are cleaned and pulverized into cooking and medicinal powders, chewing gum, used in body lotions, or taken as a dietary supplement. The list of ailments it has claimed to cure is long. From stomach ulcers, to IBS, allergies, indigestion, heart burn, inflammation, its even being used in clinical trials for vision problems but that remains to be proven. Lets place aside the fact that its been proven to have high anti-inflammatory properties and can help a load of issues your body is struggling with, lets talk about the flavor. It might take some getting used to, so use it cautiously at first, but once you’ve gotten accustomed there is no going back. Mastic carries an umami flavor and aroma that is so distinct your not quite sure where its coming from. Its bitter and sweet at the same time, and since a little goes a long way, as far as spices goes, it very budget friendly.
This Buttermilk Mastic Panna Cotta can hold its own. Its got a beautiful pine tree flavor from the mastic and a fresh tartness from the buttermilk. The heavy cream gives it a smooth mouth feel and the grapefruit plays off the other tart components in the dessert. It isn’t too sweet so if your not needing a sugar fix, you can have it with some freshly sliced kiwi or if you want to go all in top it with a grenadine syrup and/or a tablespoon of fig jam. Other toppings can be a drizzle of honey and toasted almonds, or whipped cream and berries.