Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bergamot Week Jan 14 - 24

Hey there, long time no see! Did you have a good holiday?

Things sure have been busy around here the last month or so, but now that it's a little more calm I have time to write up another blog post. And just in time to tell you about Bergamot Week!

What's Bergamot Week, you ask? Well, for the past few years around this time in January, we have brought in some bergamot fruits so people can see and smell them firsthand. What's a bergamot, you ask? Well...

That's a bergamot. Looks like a lemon, huh? It may look like a lemon, but one sniff of the peel and you get the unmistakeable fragrance of Earl Grey. The oil from the rind of the bergamot fruit is what makes your Earl Grey tea taste the way it does.

The finest bergamots (Citrus bergamia) are grown in the Calabria region of Italy (the tip of the "boot"). The particular soil type brings out the most flavor in the oil. It's pretty difficult (and expensive) to get them from Italy, so we bring in some grown in California by a grower who specializes in rare citrus fruits.

The flesh of the fruit is rather sour, so it's not so great for eating as is, but the zest is wonderful to use in baking and cooking. Try adding some zest to a shortbread, or in chocolate truffles; anywhere you use lemon or orange zest. You could even try a twist of bergamot peel in a martini to give it a unique hint of flavor. I wonder if anyone makes bergamot bitters... Hmm.

Anyway, in honor of bergamot season, we're declaring the 14th - 24th of January Bergamot Week! We'll have bergamots in the shop for you to see and smell, and all of our Earl Grey teas will be 10% off! That includes Earl Grey Extra, Lavender Earl Grey, Victorian Earl Grey, Irish Earl Grey, Imperial Russian Caravan, Paris Blend, Decaf Earl Grey Extra, and Decaf Victorian Earl Grey.

So come on in, meet a bergamot, and pick up some Earl Grey and celebrate Bergamot Week with us!

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