Bergamot is grown in three cultivars, femminello, castagnaro and fantastico that stand out for the fruits and the quality of the essence: the femminello, more productive, has smaller fruits than other cultivars, is smooth, rich in essential oils and is also more aromatic; castagnaro has wrinkled and furrowed fruits and a good yield in essence; the fantastico has a pear-shaped fruit, a good yield in essence and a great aroma. It is the cultivar mostly used for new installations.
The various usages of the fruit depends on the degree of maturation of citrus: the yellow fruit, ripe, is used to extract the essential oil and is also used as a flavoring; the green, immature, is used in the confectionery industry and in perfumery; the grey-green immature fruit fallen from the tree, called arancella, is used in the production of spirits and of an essence called Neroli or Bergamot Black.
Recently, thanks to the latest medical and pharmacological researches, the use of the fresh fruit has increased in the kitchen as a seasoning for salads and main courses or as juice. It has been demonstrated that consuming bergamot helps maintain the heart in good health, by controlling high cholesterol.