Cookbook:Caper

Salted capers.

Cookbook | Recipes | Ingredients

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.

The buds, when ready to pick, are a dark olive green and about the size of a kernel of maize. They are picked, then pickled in a vinegar or vinegar and salt solution.

Capers are often enjoyed in cold smoked salmon or cured salmon dishes, salad, pizza, pasta and sauces. Capers are also sometimes substituted for olives to garnish a martini.

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