Inventory, 18 lbs : 0
Bergamot oranges are small to medium in size, averaging 6-8 centimeters in diameter, and are globular to obovoid in shape. The glossy rind matures from green to bright yellow and has a smooth, pebbled texture from visible oil glands strewn across the surface. Underneath the rind, the pith is white, spongy, and semi-thick with a cotton-like texture. The flesh is soft, pale-yellow, and is divided into 8-14 segments by thin, white membranes. It also contains a few, cream-colored seeds and has a very acidic, tart, and bitter taste, which makes it generally unsuitable for fresh eating. Bergamot oranges are known for their aromatic rind that is full of essential oils that have fresh, floral notes mixed with bright citrus undertones.
Bergamot oranges are available in the early fall through winter.
Bergamot oranges, botanically classified as Citrus bergamia, are a hybrid citrus that grows on small bushy trees that can reach up to three meters in height and are members of the Rutaceae family. Believed to be a descendant of a cross between a sour orange and a lemon or a lime, Bergamot oranges are not consumed fresh but are favored for the fragrant oil found in the rind. This variety gets its name from the northern Italian city of Bergamo, which is where the essential oil is extracted for use in perfumes, colognes, teas, and confectionaries.
Bergamot oranges contain vitamin C, potassium, and vitamins B1, B2, and A.
Bergamot oranges are best suited for flavoring and are not commonly utilized for fresh eating. The rind and zest can be used for syrups, flavored sugars or salts, cocktails, vinaigrettes, marmalade, and jams. They can also be used to flavor cookies, cakes, shortbread, biscuits, scones, yogurts, and custards. Bergamot oranges pair well with other citrus, seafood, ricotta, mild salad greens, avocado, and fresh herbs such as dill, basil, and tarragon. The fruits will keep up to two weeks when stored in the refrigerator.
Bergamot oranges are globally known for their strong, aromatic oil and production requires approximately two hundred pounds of oranges to make one pound of oil. In Italy, Bergamot oil is most commonly used to create eau-de-cologne, which was one of the most popular fragrances of 18th century Europe. Today eau-de-cologne is still the foundation of many perfumes and colognes as its scent blends well with many different fragrances, and the oil is used to uplift and stimulate the senses. The oil is so highly regarded, that it has also earned a Protected Designation Of Origin or DOP in 2001 to protect the standard quality of oil from Calabria, Italy. Bergamot oil is also used to flavor earl grey tea, which is one of the most popular teas today, and flavors tobacco and snuff products in Norway and Sweden.
While the exact origins are unknown, the parents of the Bergamot orange were believed to have originated in Asia and were introduced to Italy in the early 1700s via Venetian traders. Bergamot oranges were then created from a cross between a sour orange and a lemon or lime and has since then been a common cultivar found in the Mediterranean, specifically Italy, where it was first discovered as a seedling. Today Italy produces more Bergamot oranges than anywhere else in the world, and the fruit is cultivated in Calabria, a city in Southern Italy, where it is the only known growing region where fruits do not produce varied qualities of essential oils in their peels. Bergamot oranges are also grown on a smaller scale in Northern Africa, Morocco, Turkey, Tunisia, Brazil, Algeria, Argentina, and Southeast Asia.
Recipes that include Bergamot Oranges. One is easiest, three is harder.