Learn About Capers

Author: Chef Toby

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What Are Capers?

Capers are small and round edible flower buds from a plant called a caper bush. The dark green buds are harvested, dried, pickled, and sold in jars in their brine, or liquid used for pickling. Capers are most commonly used in Mediterranean countries like Italy, Greece, Morocco, France, and Spain, but can be found all over the world.

What Do Capers Taste Like?

When capers are raw, they are very bitter, and it is not common to eat them this way. Pickled capers are very salty, acidic and have a similar flavor to an olive. 

How Can You Eat Capers?

Capers are usually added to dishes to add a salty and bright flavor. They can be found on many different Mediterranean dishes, like Chicken Piccata, or pasta, and salads as a seasoning or garnish. Capers are also commonly served with fish, like smoked salmon. 

Learn About Capers

Where Can You Find Capers?

Capers are found at most grocery stores and are near the pickles and olives.

How Do You Store Capers? 

Store Capers in the jar that they came in, inside of your pantry or cupboard. Once they are open, store them in the refrigerator, inside of the brine. In the fridge, they can last up to a year. 

Fun Fact About Capers

Capers come in a variety of sizes. The smaller berries can measure as small as 7 millimeters and are the most popular. The smaller the caper, the better the flavor and texture seem to be.

Did You Know?

Capers and caperberries are not the same. Capers are the bud of the flower, and caperberries are the fruit from the caper bush. Caperberries look very similar to olives and are usually pickled with a long stem still attached.

Recipes Using Capers:

Chicken Piccata

This Italian classic features breaded chicken coated in a light sauce made with capers, lemon juice, butter, and chicken stock. Don’t have chicken stock? Use chicken bullion and water as a substitute!

Pasta with Lemon, Garlic and Caper Sauce

Combine lemon juice, garlic, butter, capers, and parsley in a frying pan to make a sauce coat your favorite pasta.

Salmon with Capers and Dill

Sear salmon fillets in butter on a skillet and add capers, lemon juice, and fresh dill, a type of herb.

Roasted Cauliflower with Capers and Parmesan

Toss cauliflower with olive oil, a small amount of salt, pepper, and roast it on a baking sheet in the oven until tender. Top the cauliflower with capers and grated parmesan cheese to give it an instant upgrade.

Grilled Tomato Salsa

Make a topping for chicken, fish, and more with capers and yellow cherry tomatoes. Grill the tomatoes, cut them in half, and combine with capers, olive oil, freshly grated lemon zest, and basil.

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