|Photo: Leslie Seaton|
I was going through my Citrus Inventory the other day as i had a rare spot open up in the garden for two new trees. I have quite a good coverage of most Citrus varieties and thought it would be a good idea to choose something extra unusual that i didn't have already. So my shortlist was Sumo/Dekopon (something i've wanted for a while now), Meiwa Kumquat, (another) Yuzu, Afourer Tangor, Lemonade, Ponderosa Lemon, Limequat, Serville Orange and Bergamot Orange. I decided after visiting the store to go with Bergamot Orange and another Yuzu. I chose these mainly because Meiwa Kumquats were out of stock. I have more than enough Lemons with my Meyer & Eureka. Sumo/Dekopon is not avalible in NZ yet:( Limequats seem pointless to me, plus i have 6 Lime trees already. I would have got a Afourer but they were also out stock.
I am excited by my new Bergamot as its extremely rare to see the fruit in NZ shops. So what do you do with a Bergamot Orange you ask? Lets have a look......
Bergamot has a long history of commercial culture, grown primarily for the distinctive essential oil from its rind. The area for this is mostly confined to a province of Calabria in southern Italy. Bergamots are defined as green gold, .
Bergamot oil is an important component of a Toilet Water (Eau de Toilette), which was first developed around 1675 in Cologne, Germany, by an Italian immigrant. Bergamot oil soon became a constituent of high quality perfumes and of men's perfumes, aka "Cologne".
The other main use of Bergamot Oil is to flavour Earl Grey tea which has been made since the 1820s.
Bergamot is about to experience a Yuzu-style renaissance within the Culinary world with many high-end chefs exploring the distinctly nuanced flavour. It can be used in a wide variety of ways such as:
- Using the aromatic rind and acidic (yet sweeter and more delicate and floral than lemon) juice to flavour yoghurt mixed with cucumber, fresh dill.
- It is an excellent partner to fish especially in curing.
- Add bergamot to Asian-style marinades with soy, ginger and rice wine vinegar.
- Bergamot juice can also be substituted for vinegar in vinaigrettes for a perfumed tartness.
- Add bergamot zest to Meringues.
- Bergamot and Mint make for a refreshing sorbet.
- Use in Cakes or Icing.
- Make Bergamot Syrup to add to Prosecco or Sparkling Water.
- Bergamot-cello (Liquore al Bergamotto)
The refreshing, fragrant flavour of bergamot makes the perfect palette cleanser so try this sorbet at the end of a rich meal.
4 Bergamots, juiced and zested
150g caster sugar
2 egg whites
1. Dissolve the sugar in the water over a low heat, before gently bringing to the boil for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and add the bergamot zest, cover and leave to infuse for half an hour.
2. Add the bergamot juice to the sugar syrup, then strain and place in a shallow container. Freeze for two hours until slushy.
3. Whisk the egg whites until fluffy and mix into the sorbet. The sorbet must be only semi-frozen to be able to do this. Freeze for at least 6 hours. Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before serving.
- 8 bergamots
- 3 cups Sugar
- 4 cups (1litre) Water
- pinch of Salt
2. Cut the bergamots into quarters and using a sharp knife, slice the quarters as thinly as possible.
3. Add the bergamots to a pot, add the sugar, 1 litre of water, and salt, and bring to a boil. Cook the bergamots, stirring occasionally, until the marmalade begins to set using the wrinkle test: turn the marmalade off and put a dab on a plate that’s been in the freezer then check it after five minutes; if it wrinkles when you nudge it, it’s done. If not, continue to cook, repeating this step, until it reaches the desired consistency (about 30 mins).
4. Ladle into clean jars and twist on the lids. Once cool, store in the refrigerator, where they’ll keep for at least six months.
|Photo: Leslie Seaton|