Costiera Ionica, Calabria
Bergamot, fruit unique in the world, od a slightly bitter taste
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Bergamot, fruit unique in the world, of a slightly bitter taste.
In each Kg there are 5/8 fruits.
There are three different varieties of bergamot: Femminello, Fantastico and Castagnaro.
The first two varieties are dedicated to the commercialization of the fresh fruit and are the ones on sale, the third variety is dedicated to the preparation of laboured products.
The fruit is not much bigger than an orange and less than a grapefruit; it has a yellow colouring brighter than the grapefruit and less than lemon, externally it has a smooth and thin peel like the grapefruit’s, it’s less round than the grapefruit as it is flattened on its sides.
According to recent studies of the University of Cosenza, an active principle present in the bergamot juice inhibits the production of cholesterol in the blood.
RECIPES AND USES
The bergamot is characterized by its versatility, both in the world of cosmetics and the pharmaceutical industry, thanks to the active principles present in its essence (in its essential oil): this, that is the noble part of the bergamot, is extracted from the peel, and it’s used in the world for the production of the best perfumes and cosmetics.
The actual origino f this fruit is unknown; the colour yellow indicates a derivation from genetic modification starting from the pre-existent citrus species, like lemon, bitter orange or sweet lime.
The first intensive plantation of bergamot trees was realized, in 1750, by the owner Nicola Parisi by the coast of Reggio Calabria, in front of the area where today there’s, in the heart of the city, the communal Lido Zerbi.
In 1844, it was documented the first true industrialization of the process of extraction of the essential oils from the peel thanks to a machine invented by Nicola Barillà, denominated the Calabrian machine, which granted an elevated output in short times, but also an essence of high quality if compared to the sponge extraction.
It’s a tree 3 or 4 m high, with a crown between 3 and 4 m.
The flowers are white, very perfuse.
The leaves are shiny and fleshy like the orange tree’s and never fall, not even during Winter.
The efflorescence and the new leaves sprout as long as the rainy season ends, at the beginning of March.
DID YOU KNOW
Did you know that…
... Some legends make the bergamot derive from the Canary Islands, from which it would’ve been imported by Christopher Colombus?
... Other sources tend to China, Greece, or the city of Berga in Spain?
... Bergamot etymologically derives, maybe, from Bergamundi, or “pear tree of the Lord”, from Turkish, because the fruit resembles to the bergamot pear?
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