Citrus bergamia Risso
Common Name: Bergamot orange
The Bergamot orange is a fragrant citrus fruit the size of a medium orange, mostly obovoid in shape and lemon yellow in colour when ripe. It’s probably a hybrid of Citrus limetta (sweet lemon) and Citrus aurantium (seville orange).
Bergamot orange is commercially grown in southern Calabria, in southern Italy which accounts for 80% production.
It’s also grown in Argentina, Brazil, Algeria, the Ivory Coast, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, and South-East Asia (WIKI)
It’s solely grown for production of Bergamot essential oil, (oil of bergamot) which is extracted from it’s peel or rind and is majorly used in the food, perfume and cosmetic industry.
Oil of Bergamot, is the key ingredient in Earl Grey Tea.
Bergamot orange is also grown in North Africa and Ivory Coast but the essential oil extracted in these two regions is variable and inferior in quality and hence unprofitable for commercial purposes.
Use of Bergamot Oil (Oil of Bergamot)
Bergamot oil is a major component in Eau de Cologne, from Cologne, Germany and also a major component of various perfumes. It’s also popular in Aromatherapy.
Oil of Bergamot is also used to flavour the famous, Earl Grey tea, and Lady Grey tea.
It’s also used in the food and confectionary industry.
It’s an ingredient in Turkish delight and puddings.
Notes on taxonomy
Bergamot orange is sometimes classified as Citrus aurantium ssp. bergamia.