There are certain things I simply can’t resist. Among them many unusual seasonal delicacies.
Bergamot fruit. Just say it. It almost sounds like music. And it looks like sunshine in the midst of winter.
Bergamot is a fragrant fruit the size of a small orange, with a yellow/orange colour. The juice tastes less sour than lemon, but even more bitter than grapefruit. Imagine that!
Have you ever tasted a bergamot?
Of course they don’t grow up here in the cold North, but at this time of year you can order them from Årstiderna – an organic to-your-door service which I use all year round. Årstiderna imports their bergamot from Morocco, and like all of their fruit it is organically grown. Get them from there or keep an eye open for them on your next trip to your farmer’s market or local store.
And although the bergamot has an intense acidity, are
terribly quite tart in flavour and nobody in our house eats them “au naturel” (I don’t think anyone does actually) I couldn’t resist buying them.
After all they are a rare seasonal delicacy.
I bought two kilos. And I did have a plan for them. Last year I made bergamot marmalade, but this time I was planning to use some of them for our regular morning juices that we make in our juicer. And mixed with other fruits and vegetables they are great! But for the main part of my two kilos I had other plans.
I wanted to use a lot of the rind, since that is where most of the flavour sits. And if you’ve ever wondered what that unusual ingredient in your cup of Earl Grey tea was – that’s bergamot essential oil extracted from the rind.
And after some thinking I decided to make a syrup for use in tea, pancakes and desserts. And I am already in love with it.
My initial plan was to use honey, but after all it doesn’t make a syrup “healthier” just by using honey. And when heating honey, most of the nutritional benefits and healthful compounds are destroyed anyway. So I made the syrup using raw cane sugar. But you could probably use e.g. agave syrup if you’d like to make it somewhat healthier.
Either way it is delicious and really simple to make!
And if you don’t have any bergamot at hand I can imagine it would be lovely to make a similar syrup of any citrus fruit.
makes about 1 cup
6 bergamot fruits – juice and zest
1/2 cup raw cane sugar
1/2 cup water
1) Wash, zest, and juice the bergamots. Strain the juice and set aside.
2) Combine sugar, water and bergamot zest in a medium, heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until thickened and reduced to about half. This takes about 15-20 minutes.
3) Remove from heat, skim any foam, and strain out the zest. Allow to cool and once cooled stir in the bergamot juice. Transfer to a bottle or jar and store in the fridge.
TIPS! Use for tea, pancakes, desserts or even in a salad dressing. You can also use the syrup with ice and sparkling water for a refreshing drink.