Bergamotto or Bergamot is a Citrus fruit which is grown in 45 towns in the Province of Reggio Calabria in Calabria. This interesting pear-shaped fruit with a somewhat rough skin is designated a denominazione d’origine protetta product or DOP. Essential oils extracted from this fruit are used in the perfume industry.
The tree is called the Citrus aurantium var. bergamia (also known as C. bergamia), of the Rutaceae family and is also known as the Bergamot orange.
A Bergamot is quite different from an orange or a lemon or other citrus fruits and only grows in this area of Calabria on the coastline. There is a consortium to promote and protect the fruit.
Bergamot oil is used not only in perfumes but also in cooking. It is added to traditional dishes in order to lighten the flavor. Bergamot oil can be used to contrast sweet notes in food such as crustaceans but it can also be used to offset strong flavors in game meats. One of the many uses of Bergamot oil is in sorbet or sorbetto.
Bergamot oil contains hundreds of cemical components and is also used to make cosmetics and soaps. The oils also have antibacterial properties and the product is often used in the pharmaceutical industry as well.
Last but not least, the oil from this versatile fruit is also used in after dinner liquors and in teas and infusions.