I remember the first time I ever tried to pronounce the word “bergamot” in front of a bona fide tea professional. He instantly corrected me by saying, “It’s bergaMOT.” And here I was uttering the less pronounced, “bergamitt”. That’s the way it always looked to me.
The mitt-mispronunciation has since left my lexicon, but I find others having similar difficulty with it. Can’t say that I blame them; it’s a weird word. Why couldn’t they simply refer to it as Citrus bergamia like the bitter orange is ACTUALLY CALLED! Heck, “bergamia” even flows better than “bergamot”, which – to me – sounds like the name of an unleavened bread.
My absolute favorite butchering of bergamot, though, came from the one who brought me into this world. It was the second time we had ever ventured to Smith Teamaker, and it has since become our go-to mother/son tea spot. Tea was our ritual whenever she was in town.
Her “teafault” beverage was (and always will be) Earl Grey, and one particular variant has surpassed all others. Smith puts out a beverage dubbed “Lord Bergamot” – their take on the classic, bergamot oil-laden Earl Grey formula, only Smith-ized. The first time my mother ordered it, she said, “I’ll have the…Lord Ber-b-bergermont.”
After a few attempts, we settled on “Burgermount”.
Then I got to thinking…
Hey, why not Burgermount?!
It has a much better flow than “bergamot” ever will. It rolls off the tongue and has the added benefit of making one hungry. (Unless you’re vegetarian.) I almost want to start a petition to have that little bitter orange officially renamed. But I digress…
Mom, if you’re reading this. There is some Lord Burgermount on its way to you. Hope you appreciate it as always…and Happy Mums Day. May we have tea again soon.