The Bergamot of Nancy is a slightly bitter, translucent golden candy that is flavored with essential bergamot oil. The bergamot fruit is a lime-orange hybrid that produces an oil used for candy, as well as cosmetics, and is mainly cultivated in the nurturing climates of Sicily and the Calabria region of southern Italy.
Bergamot of Nancy is made according to the original recipe as it was created in the 19th century by confectioners from the city of Nancy, located in the French province of Lorraine.
The origins of the Bergamot of Nancy recipe, however, remain unclear. During the Middle Ages, immigrants carried the exotic fruit with them as they traveled from Italy to the French Basilica of Saint-Nicholas-de-Port. In 1845, a confectioner from Nancy experimented with mixtures of essential bergamot oil and sugar, eventually creating the honey-colored treat. The candy later received global recognition when it was showcased at the International Exposition of Nancy in 1909.
For the last 150 years, Bergamot of Nancy candies have been sold in a small tin that features Nancy’s town square and symbols of the Lorraine region. Since the candy is made exclusively with essential bergamot oil, the Bergamot of Nancy obtained a Protected Geographic Indication (PGI) label in 1996, which promotes and protects the names of quality European food distributors. It is the only French candy to receive this distinction.
The candy’s recipe has long remained a secret, but modern candy aficionados have developed hypotheses about its production: sugars are dissolved with glucose syrup into boiling water in an old copper basin and cooked over an open fire. After adding a few drops of essential bergamot oil, the mixture is poured onto a marble base, cooled, and then shaped into small squares.
Recipe Idea: Soufflé flavored with Bergamots of Nancy
– 24 bergamots of Nancy
– 4 scoops of lime sorbet or vanilla ice cream
– 2 egg whites
– 7 oz whipped cream
Crush 6 bergamots of Nancy and sprinkle them on the base of a pan.
Whisk egg whites.
Gently combine whisked egg whites, whipped cream, and 12 crushed bergamots.
Arrange 4 scoops of sorbet on the bergamots-dusted pan and cover them with the egg-and-cream mixture. Sprinkle with the last 6 crushed bergamots.
Heat in oven 2 to 3 minutes: The top should be slightly browned. Serve immediately.
To learn more about the Bergamot of Nancy, please visit the official website (in French):