Calabrian ancestors to preserve tobacco used the bergamot snuffbox. A bottle was built from a small screw cap with the upside-down peel of the citrus fruit in which tobacco was placed, which, when needed, was poured in small quantities into the forearm cavity and then sniffed.
The charm of the bergamot
Bergamot is a citrus fruit that, magically and always, grows only along the Ionian coast, in the south of the province of Reggio Calabria. The bergamot snuffbox was commonly used between the 18th and 19th centuries. It was produced by carving the fruit, extracting the pulp, and, after having turned the peel upside down, it was filled with sawdust to give it its typical flat shape. It was subsequently filled with tobacco that immediately became special and citrus-flavoured, maintaining the right humidity.
DID YOU KNOW THAT …?
This snuffbox was part of the two comfort items kept by the soldiers in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
How it’s used today
Given nowadays the use of shooting tobacco, these boxes capable of preserving the aromas of bergamot and the colours of Calabria can be used as small jewellery boxes, candy holders, spice racks, or any other object that you might want to give a fragrant “home.”