By David St John
Updated February 12, 2024

What does mastic gum taste like?

Many people find the taste of mastic gum to be fresh and subtle, but it’s not for everyone. Here’s what to expect—and how to tailor the taste to your liking.

Ours is the freshest, most fragrant mastic gum you can get your hands on outside of Greece. Photo by Greco Gum.

Picture yourself walking in a beautiful evergreen forest, just after a light rain, the dewdrops glistening silver on the majestic cedar, pine, and cypress trees. You take a deep breath through your nose, inhaling the clean, fresh, faintly earthy scent.

Have you got that scent clearly in mind?

Good. Because that’s almost exactly what fresh mastic gum tastes like.

Path through an evergreen forest
Imagine the fragrance of the forest: that’s kind of what mastic gum tastes like. Photo by Tyler Lastovich.

The thing to remember is that this flavor is very subtle. Some people have reported that it is a bit reminiscent of retsina, a Greek wine flavored with pine resin. In our estimation, however, the flavor of mastic is much softer and fainter, not so bold and piney.

Some have identified notes of citrus, a distant echo of grapefruit, others are reminded of a brief whiff of incense, or the scent of their grandmother’s old-fashioned cedar chest.

How sensitive are you?

Taste is highly subjective, and some people are more sensitive to some flavors than others. One person will take a bite of Greek lemon herb chicken, and immediately be able to identify the different subtle flavors of oregano, rosemary, thyme, plus the tang of lemon and aromatic dill in the tzatziki; while the person across the table, tasting the same dish, will correctly surmise that it “tastes like chicken!”

Wherever you happen to fall on this spectrum, you are likely to find the fresh and subtle flavor of mastic gum to be quite pleasing.

What mastic gum does not taste like

One thing to bear in mind is what mastic gum does not taste like: the hyper-sweet, obviously fake artificial flavors in most of the regular chewing gum on the market today. This may take a little getting used to, particularly if up to now you have had a bit of a sweet tooth.

We get flooded with reviews from people commenting on how Greco Gum not only helped to sculpt their jawlines, but also improved their palate, in more ways than one.

“It’s not sweet, ya know…”, writes Ethan S. “It’s got a great natural flavor. It’s the only gum I’ll chew.”

Joseph B comments on our gum’s “phenomenal and subtle flavor…”, while Sean G appreciates the fact that Greco Gum’s mastic is “savory and healthy”.

Sean goes on to say that our gum has “helped me keep a strong and defined jawline, while changing my palette to a more refined and mature taste.”

Like Roman espresso, Provence truffles, and Beluga caviar, Chios mastic gum can be an acquired taste for some people, but one worth acquiring. You will find to your pleasant surprise that it dulls your cravings for the sweet stuff.

In other words, it’s gum for grown-ups.

What mastic gum smells like

Greco Gum on Greek table
Mastiha provides an essential flavor in Greek cuisine. Photo by Greco Gum.

The senses of smell and taste are very closely linked, so you’ll be able to get a foretaste of the flavor of mastic gum as soon as you open the container.

Inhale deeply the scent of the handsome evergreen mastic trees that shed these tears, redolent of the fresh evergreen forest you imagined earlier.

Take a pinch of mastic tears and crunch them between your teeth. Close your eyes and see that forest flooding back to your mind’s eye.

If you are one of the rare individuals who detect a slightly bitter taste when first chewing mastic gum, be assured that this soon passes, mellowing into the soft evergreen flavor described above.

Remember that you can keep your chewed gum fresh by putting it in a glass of water until you’re ready to chew again. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that the water itself has acquired the subtle evergreen aroma.

Can you flavor mastic gum?

Yes, you can, within reason. You may be tempted to add a drop of mint, clove, or cinnamon essential oil to your mastic gum, but we do not recommend it.

Oils change the composition of the gum, making it much softer and easier to chew. This of course is the opposite of what you want if your goal is to build an awesome jawline, but if your main objective is oral or digestive health, or any of the many other benefits of mastic gum other than sculpting your masseter muscles, then go for it.

Alternatively, you might try putting some mint leaves, or cloves, or cinnamon bark, or even a sprig of rosemary or oregano, in the tin where you keep your gum. This will impart a subtle hint of whatever herb or spice you use to the gum, while maintaining its integrity.

Rosemary mixed in with mastic gum for flavor
A tin of our fine mastic gum with a pinch of chopped rosemary for flavor. Photo by Holden Killeen

We hope your curiosity has now been piqued, as well as your taste buds, and that you’re ready to give mastic gum a try. And if you would like to try the very best mastic available, here is the only place to get it.

We’d love to hear your personal impressions of mastic gum’s flavor, and also any of your own imaginative suggestions and experiences adding herbs, spices or other flavorings.

This article originally appeared online in 2024; it was most recently updated on February 12, 2024, to include current information.


David St John

David St John has been a soldier, teacher, fitness coach, consultant, wilderness instructor, and an award-winning copywriter; equally at home in the jungles of Burma and Sumatra, and the corporate jungles of Singapore and Osaka.