Presenting, in candied form, the most fragrant of citrus fruits, the star of Earl Grey tea, the ingredient that makes baked goods practically blossom with floral aroma… bergamot! These sunny yellow, demure-looking candied peels give off a captivating perfume so intensely flowery that you might be tempted to dab them behind your ears. The flavor begins with a hint of lemon and a touch of bitterness, which becomes almost spicy as it lingers on the tongue.
Since they are so powerful, the peels are best finely chopped and balanced with other bold or rich ingredients. Just imagine, for example, the scent of a bittersweet chocolate and bergamot torte wafting from the oven. The aromatic zest adds an air of the exotic to everything from scones to puréed sweet potatoes and melds beautifully with the warm spices in fruitcake, Moroccan tagines and pilaf. For bergamot-infused cocktails, steep a strip or two of candied peel in a bottle of vodka for one week. Poured into pretty bottles and tied with ribbon, bergamot liqueur would also make a special homemade gift.
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