- Beautiful bergamots: The fruit is the chefs' citrus of choice this spring | The Independent:
What is a bergamot?
Often seen in essential-oil form in Earl Grey tea and beauty products, bergamot citrus fruits are grown in Southern Italy and look like lemons.
They are a seasonal variety with a short growing window.
Use their zest and juice as an ingredient to add a new twist to your gin and tonic, salad dressings or marinades.
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More exotic citrus fruits to try
I'd always known cedro as etrog lemon, an essential part of Jewish Sukkot rituals, and was bemused to come across a Yiddish expression for something that has no value as being like "an etrog after Sukkot". How very misguided. Its elongated lemon shape is awesome – sometimes as large as a melon – with a textured yellowy-green skin. Cedro has an exceptionally large ratio of soft, white, surprisingly sweet pith that can be used with the bitter-sweet, prized rind. In Sicily, where cedros are grown, it is thinly sliced and sprinkled with salt or sugar as a snack with aperitifs (or candied) or combined with fennel in a salad.
Chris Golding at Apero at The Ampersand is another chef who takes great pleasure in using ingredients that are a talking point for guests. He uses diamante citron, sweeter than a conventional lemon and similar to a cedro. He adds its juice besides lemon to cure wild sea bass served with fennel and purple potatoes.
A fragrant citron whose fruit is segmented into finger-like sections. The origin of Buddha's hand is north-eastern India and China though it is now grown in California. It has no juice and is mainly valued for its zest. The inner white pith is not bitter so the fingers can be longitudinally sliced, peel, pith, and all, and used in salads. Not least by Michel Roux Jnr at Le Gavroche in a crab salad with spring onions, roasted hazelnut oil and spicy tomato mousse.
Indian citrons identifiable by their large "wings" on the stalk attaching the leaf to the stem, they have smooth yellow rind, dry, greenish-yellow flesh and a very sour, bitter juice. At Trishna, segments of Shaktora lemon are added to give extra verve to a masala chicken curry.
Tiny round citrus related to both kumquat and lime. Look for the more yellow-skinned limequat as its intense sourness and tartness is more mellow. Use sparingly in dressings and desserts. Sometimes seen in larger branches of Sainsbury's.
The ultimate, decadent citrus burst, often called lime caviar as the interior pulp has a caviar-like appearance and pops and bursts on the roof of the mouth, exploding with vivid lime flavour. Wonderful as a seafood garnish and relatively less expensive than caviar though still a huge treat. Available from efoodies.co.uk
- Bergamot Polenta Cake – Life Love Food:
BERGAMOT POLENTA CAKE.
1 fresh unwaxed bergamot
3 large eggs
180g caster sugar
125g fine polenta (such as Fioretto)
250g ground almonds
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
140g unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the tin
Icing sugar, for dusting
Wash the bergamot thoroughly, place it in a saucepan and cover it with cold water. Set it over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for about one hour, or until the bergamot is tender all the way through, topping up the water if the level drops too much – the fruit should be bobbing in plenty of liquid at all times. Drain the bergamot and discard the seeds. Purée flesh and skin in a blender until smooth.
Next, preheat the oven to 180°C and butter a 20cm springform cake tin. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar until airy and pale yellow. Add the puréed bergamot and fold through. In a separate bowl, combine polenta, ground almonds, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and work it into the dry mix until completely broken through. Finally, pour over the eggs and sugar and stir until you have an even mixture.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and level the surface. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool in the tin for about 20 minutes, then free it from the springform and transfer it to a rack to cool completely. Dust the surface with icing sugar before serving.
- Whipped Lime Pie | The Miller's Daughter:
- Bergamot and cedro marmalade | The Independent
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