Bergamot (from the Turkish bey-armut or lord’s pear) is a citrus fruit which looks similar to a lime.
It is uncertain as to where it originated from. Some botanists say it comes from the crossing of bitter orange with lime while others believe it is a hybrid citrus fruit which appeared by accident on a lemon tree between the 14th and 15th centuries.
In France, and particularly in the Lorraine region where the fruit is virtually the emblem of the region, some say René 1st of Anjou, Duke of Lorraine in 1431, discovered this citrus fruit, whilst on his travels, in an abbey close to the town of Bergamo. The monks distilled the bergamots of Calabria. The Duke is said to have brought the fruit to France and that is how it came to be known in the western world. The bergamot orange comes from the Rutaceae family which grows in hot regions.
Most plantations can be found in Calabria, in Southern Italy. Bergamot is harvested mainly from the end of November through till February. Bergamot powder is obtained from drying and grinding bergamot peel. It has all the aromas of bergamot and is easy to use!
Sprinkle it generously over a dish, in a drink, over your cakes and pastries, adding a new touch to your daily dishes with its delicate aromas. It is perfect for replacing fresh citrus fruits when you don’t have one handy when you’re cooking and can be used in unusual ways which would not have been possible with fresh fruit.
Cooks Tip: Bergamot powder can be sprinkled in your cake mixtures and tagines. 1 teaspoon will delight your mayonnaise or your vinaigrette.
Sprinkle a few pinches over your fish just before serving, shellfish, scallops and even oysters to add a delicious acidic taste.
Bergamot infusion - Boil the required amount of water. - Use 1 teaspoon of powder per cup. - Pour the boiling water onto the bergamot powder. - Leave to infuse for about 5 minutes. - Once infused, filter using a coffee filter or a clean muslin.