Gum mastic only comes from special trees on the Greek island of Chios, and it is certainly not something you see every day here.
After agonising over the recipe I would make, I eventually chose to make something that I have admired for a long time because of the stunning photographs accompanying the post. This recipe is rosewater, cardamom and gum mastic icecream, by Keiko of Nordljus.
Nigel Slater wrote that rosewater icecream is not to everyone's liking, and he was right. The flavour is very unusual, and I cannot truthfully say that I love it. However, this icecream looked beautiful in its creamy glory, contrasting with the pink dried rose petals that I sprinkled on top to emulate Nordljus's photographs.
Here is a selection of the raw ingredients for this icecream, including the gum mastic:
As I have never used gum mastic before, I am not sure how much of the flavour of the icecream can be attributed to the gum mastic, and how much was due to the other striking flavours, including the strong rosewater flavour, and cardamom.
One thing that I learned from making this icecream is why you would bother to grind up your own spices fresh from the seeds or pods. The smell of the cardamom seeds after being freshly ground was very piquant, and nothing like the smell of the ready ground variety that you buy in supermarkets.
Thanks to Ivy for hosting this event and for the gum mastic. If you would like to contribute a dish for this event, you need to send your submission in to Ivy by 28 February.