Capers - TheRecipe.Website


    Capers – The unopened flower buds of several small Mediterranean shrubs of the Capparis genus. Usually sold pickled or salted, when rinsed they have a pungent flavour that comes from an oil called glycoside, which is also found in horseradish and wasabi. They are an important ingredient is many sauces, including tartar sauce, and are used in many seafood and poultry dishes in the Mediterranean region where they are often paired with olives. Major producers of capers are France, Italy, Spain, California, Cyprus, and Malta. Those grown in France are graded according to size, with nonpareils being the smallest and most desirable, and with capottes at the other end of the scale. Caper berries are the pickled unripe fruits of the same shrubs, and their flavour is more subtle than that of capers. Both may be eaten on their own and as an accompaniment to cold meats, cheeses, and smoked fish. They are best added to a dish towards the end cooking because prolonged exposure to heat can result in a bitter taste.