Capers in our A-Z - Cooking Index
Capers are the small unopened buds of the Mediterranean bush, Capparis spinosa L. (syn. Capparis rupestris). It is closely related to the cabbage family, but the plant is more reminiscent of a rose bush.
Salted capers should be rinsed before using to remove the excess salt and pickled capers are usually drained before use. Much used in Mediterranean cooking, they add tanginess to dishes such as pasta sauces, pizzas and salads and go very well with meats and fish, in particular Anchovies and are they key ingredient in Tartare sauce. If you are lucky enough to be able to grow caper plants, the tender young shoots and baby leaves can also be eaten as a vegetable, in salads or pickled.
They have a flavour which can be described as sharp, mustard-like and peppery .
Today, capers are found growing wild all over Mediterranean and are also cultivated in many countries including France, Spain, Italy, Morocco and Algeria.
A herbal tea made of caper root and young shoots is considered to be beneficial against rheumatism.