Saturday, January 8, 2011

Bergamot Week is Back! Jan 7 - 17

That's right, it's time for Bergamot Week once again here at the Perennial Tea Room!

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 7th - 17th 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!


  1. Can't wait to hear what people are making with their bergamots this year - Jacob can actually eat them but they are too strong for me and I prefer to use the zest in chocolate truffles, chocolate bark, pound cake and shortbread. My home smells like a bergamot orchard. SUE

  2. Well,I've used up all my bergamots this year making chocolate truffles with the zest, pound cake with the zest and a sugar-bergamot juice glaze, and shortbread with the zest. YUM! Looking forward to next January's harvest at for more of this lovely fruit which is the heart of Earl Grey.