Capers are the pickled and salted buds of a biennial shrub native to the Mediterranean area. They are often used as a seasoning or garnish. Capers are a common ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine. The grown fruit of the caper shrub is also used, and prepared similarly to the buds to be used as caper berries.
Capers are categorized and sold by their size, defined as follows, with the smallest sizes being the most desirable: Non-pareil (0-7 mm), surfines (7-8 mm), capucines (8-9 mm), capotes (9-11 mm), fines (11-13 mm), and grusas (14+ mm).
Caper berries can be substituted with unripe nasturtium seeds, which have a very similar texture and flavour when pickled.Last modified on 2 December 2006, at 20:01