Small green edible flower buds of the capparis plant, capers are native to the Mediterranean. They are expensive because they are labor intensive. They have a sour salty flavor and are added to many savory dishes to give a distinct flavor. Salt, wine vinegar, brine or olive oil is used to preserve capers, with the salty ones being more versatile. The stemmed capers tend to have a sweeter and milder flavor than the normal ones. The buds are dark olive green in colour and the size of corn kernels. They have a tangy lemony flavor, much the same as green olives.
Aside from being used for seasoning, these are simply consumed pickled too. Commonly used in salads, pasta salads, meat dishes and sauces, it is one of the ingredients for tartar sauce. Capers can also substitute olives in martinis.
It is considered beneficial against rheumatism, can relieve flatulence and is a low fat, low calorie food. Capers strengthen capillaries and prevent platelet clumping. It does have high sodium levels due to pickling by salt.
Did you know?
In biblical times, caper berries were considered to be an aphrodisiac.