Monday, May 2, 2011

Adventures in Baking

As many of you know, I attempted to make Greek Easter bread for Easter this year. It didn't turn out the way I hoped. It turns out the key ingredient is something called Mastiha, or mastic gum. Before I bore you with details of this weird spice, I thought I would share an amusing story.

My uncle Jerry lives in NY, and offered to procure me some of this illusive spice, since there are almost no Greeks here in Minnesota. He emails me and says that he bought the Mastiha, but that since it was expensive, he bought only one jar, and would mail me enough to make several loaves of bread. Awesome!
Just one small problem...Mastiha looks rather suspicious. It resembles a number of illicit street drugs. To make matters worse, my uncle said he would be mailing it in a plastic baggy.

Actual Mastiha
Actual Crack Rocks
Perhaps the other issue would be the government thinking my uncle was mailing out some anthrax greeting cards like some deranged baker.

While I half-expected the mail man to cuff me and whisk me away like some druglord or terrorist mastermind...the mail arrived without incident, and I received my Mastiha sans taskforce. Apparently all the cartels need to do, is mark the bag "FOOD GRADE MASTIHA, AKA MASTIC GUM" and their wares can be peddled undetected. Yay Government.

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