Time to get up to some capers in the kitchen….!
What….skip around the table in a lively and playful way….? You can, if you like – but I, personally, am too old for all those capers….!
Groan! That’s awful isn’t it….
Caper actually comes from a sixteenth Century word – ‘capriole’ – roughly translating to ‘leap’….
But enough of all that, the capers I’m referring to are the dark green flower buds of the prickly, Caper Bush, found growing wild all over the Mediterranean area.
The unripe buds are picked by hand (they are too delicate to be harvested by machine) – this makes them a little pricey – but worth it! They are then dried in the sun before either being pickled in vinegar or preserved in olive oil or salt….
They have a salty, slightly sour taste and add a flavourful punch to many a dish. They vary in size but the most common to be found is about the size of a small pea. Look out for the nonpareille, the smallest and most desirable, about the size of a peppercorn. Then the largest are caperberries which have a sweeter flavour….
A versatile little ingredient…. Once you get a taste for them the possibilities are endless; use them in sauces, top fish or lamb whilst cooking, pop them in a salad or on your pizza….
I love experimenting with them, I shall be adding some of my favourite recipes here & some I’m yet to try out. If you’ve got any recipes or ideas of your own to share – be sure to let me know….