Tasty Teardrops and Tomatoes: Chios

Locals like to tell you that Christopher Columbus lived here, on this wealthy yet relatively undiscovered island in the Northeastern Aegean, made rich early on by its role in silk processing, shipping, the production of citrus fruits and as the only source of mastiha, a resinous superfood that is one of the Mediterranean’s oldest, most significant ingredients. Chios also claims a wealth of food lore and Diane explores everything from beguiling mastiha, to the local pasta traditions to unique tomatoes, dangling like garlands of giant rubies against the renowned geometric patterns on medieval houses in the mastiha village of Pyrgi. She learns to make pasta from a local cook. The flavors of historic Chios waft into her kitchen inspiring her to cook up a succulent chicken and quince dish and an easy traditional black eyed pea salad with Mastiha vinaigrette.