Bergamotto lemons are a bit smaller than an orange, with a slight round shape. The yellow-green skin of the Bergamotto lemon is thin and very aromatic, which is a result of high amounts of a compound called limonene present in the peel. The skin slowly changes from lime green to a greenish yellow color towards the end of the season. The flesh of the Bergamotto lemon resembles that of a grapefruit, and has a fragrant aroma. The taste of the juice is bitter, acidic, and somewhat musty.
Bergamotto lemon is used in a wide variety of applications, from culinary to pharmaceutical. The fruit is squeezed for its sour-bitter juice, and the rind is zested or pressed for its intensely aromatic oils. Bergamotto lemon juice can be used to make sorbet, gelato, or a marinade for fish or poultry. The Italian citrus variety can be used in dressings, desserts, juices or other applications where lemon or lime juice is used. Keep Bergamotto lemon refrigerated for up to a month in the crisper drawer; fruit left at room temperature will not keep for more than a week.