Bergamot is another famous form of fragrant herb. It belongs to the Lamiaceae family of plants. This herb also resembles Bergamot Orange. Both of these herbs have the same characteristics and great scents. That’s why these herbs are normally used for making fragrances. In addition, these flowers normally attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.
Moreover, Bergamot has been originated in America. It is a native plant of North America. These plants were used by an American Indian tribe called Oswego. They used Bergamot as a beverage. Later on, when American Colonists boycotted British Tea, they adopted using Bergamot as a beverage. They used the leaves of this plant in various drinks, including lemonade, flavor punches, and more. While Bergamot Orange has Italian origin. There, it was used in Earl Grey Tea which is one of the famous types of teas. Besides, Bergamot has five different types. And each of these types differs from the other.
What does Bergamot Look Like?
The Bergamot has dark green leaves. These leaves have reddish veins. These leaves can normally have a height of 6cm to 15cm with 3cm to 8cm in length. Since Bergamot belongs to the mint family, it resembles almost all other plants belonging to the same family. So, it is not easy to differentiate them but always looks for the reddish veins on the leaf to easily identify Bergamot because that’s what sets it apart.
Where does Bergamot Come From?
Bergamot comes from a spiny tree. This tree is known as citrus bergamia. Though it has American origin, it is grown largely in South East Asia and Southern Italy. The Bergamot plant normally has a width of around 3 feet, and its height usually ranges around 4 feet. It has herbaceous perennial forms clumps, and over time, these clumps spread. Therefore, bergamot needs a suitable condition to bloom all summer. And if the weather goes well, these plants give very beautiful flowers that attract many bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. That’s because this plant has nectar.
How is Bergamot Made?
The making of Bergamot has almost the same process as the Bay Leaves. Once the plant is fully grown, the flowers turn pinkish or purple, indicating that it is ready to harvest. You will see that the leaves will turn green. Then, you can harvest the leaves. Since the leaves are mostly used for making tea, most people prefer to dry them. For drying it, firstly, you wash all the leaves. Wash and rinse it well using water. And then, take a paper towel and put it in any tray. Afterward, take the leaves and put them on the tray. Then let it dry. It may take weeks to dry fully. So, make sure to let Bergamot leaves dry well. If you want to use powder form, you can use a grinder to grind it.
What Does Bergamot Taste Like?
Bergamot has a mixed taste. It tastes like a blend of peppermint and spearmint. Some types of Bergamots also give a little taste of Oregano. In addition, it has a sweet, floral, bitter, and sour taste. And the unique combination of these flavors is the reason for its exceptional fame. Moreover, other forms of Bergamot, such as Bergamot extracts and oils, are also very popular.
How is Bergamot Used in Cooking?
Bergamot is extremely versatile. It can be used for various purposes while cooking. Due to its great scent, it adds great fragrance to rice and chicken, etc. Besides, it is mostly used for making tea. You can just put some Bergamot leaves in the boiling water and put it for a while to add flavor and taste. Some cooks around the world also use it as Basil for toppings on different foods. Moreover, you can also take out its juice and use it to add a souring taste to your dishes.
What Types of Cuisines Use Bergamot?
Bergamot is used in various cuisines. The list begins with pizza and salads. Most cooks use it as topping on pizza and salads. You can also add Bergamot to the recipe while making different sauces. It has a dual benefit. First, it adds flavor. And second, it adds more taste. In some parts of the world, Bergamot is also used in seafood and meats, etc. While its use in drinks like tea etc., remains on top of the list.
What is a Bergamot Substitute?
Bergamot has some good substitutes. So, if you get out of it, you can easily replace it with something else. These include lemon balm, spearmint, orange zest, oregano, and lavender.