Although it may sound like the ideal name for a grumpy British cat wearing a monocle, Bergamot is actually a citrus fruit. Latin name Citrus Bergamia – it’s of a similar color, but larger and rounder than a lemon, and though it may seem like a gin and tonic drinker’s dream come true, the actual fruit is sadly, inedible.
The essential oils are extracted from the fruit and are often found in perfumes, used in aromatherapy and to flavor Earl Grey Tea, but we use the peel and extract the flavonoids for their heart-healthy benefits.*
It takes a special kind of place to produce Bergamot, and while there are other locations elsewhere around the globe, nowhere else has the magical natural properties that Calabria in Southern Italy possesses. Calabria is a small coastal region, and if you were to consider the shape of Italy on a map as a boot, (we’re guessing it’s a chic Prada number) then Calabria is the toe.
What makes the area so nourishing is its geographical proximity to all the good stuff fauna needs to grow; sun, sea air, and natural protection via mountainous regions. All the things you would want in an awe-inspiring view are also the enigmatic qualities that the Bergamot tree needs to thrive. It’s a combination that is special for the soil, and also super for a selfie, if you will. While the north is home to perhaps the more recognizable and fashionable cities of Italy – Milan, Florence and Rome, the south is perhaps even more romantic and certainly more breathtaking.
Calming clear blue lakes, and enticing waterfalls set in untamed wilderness, jostle with charming villages, gothic castles and exquisite palaces throughout Calabria. In fact, the area is so ridiculously seductive if you plonked Fabio next to any landmark in the region – man made or natural – you’d have the ideal basis for a long lost Harlequin Romance cover ‘The Bold And The Bergamot’ perhaps?
The area actually has a history of heartthrobs (with throbbing hearts), in the 8th and 7th centuries BC, it was said to have been home to numerous ancient Olympic victors. The local athletes were used to kicking ass and taking games.
We can’t scientifically link their powerhouse sporting bods (and hearts) to the produce from the local soil that grew in the area, but there was definitely something giving them a natural edge over the competition. The Italians have a phrase that we wholeheartedly agree with “Chi he sano e da pie del Sultano” which translates as, “good health is above wealth.”
Try to give yourself a little something extra by introducing some Mediterranean flavor into your own diet and a touch more exercise into your routine. We’re not saying you’ll be winning the Olympics, but you’ll definitely be giving your heart a head start against any complications later in life.
Calabria is easy to fall in love with, picture-book locals, dazzling views and fresh produce directly from the earth. What’s not so easy, is embracing a cholesterol free diet and exercise regimen, but our Bergamot Cholesterol Support is a step in the right direction.
Maintaining a beautiful body on the outside is hard to do, but putting in the effort to maintain our body’s interior as well? That’s amorè.