Mediterranean recipes are known as one of the healthiest and most nutritious foods in the world. In fact, the Mediterranean recipes often include lots of vegetables and herbs, including capers.
Capers are small green buds that are harvested from the caper plants that grow in the Mediterranean region like Spain, Greek, and Italy. Have you tried one before? If you have not, you may be asking yourself the question – What do capers taste like?
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What Are Capers?
Before we can start discussing the taste of capers, we should start discussing what they are first.
As mentioned, capers came from caper plants that grow wildly in the Mediterranean regions. These plants are rarely grown commercially by farmers. Capers are small green unopened buds that blossom into pinkish white flowers.
The caper buds are often used in various Mediterranean recipes and are often pickled in vinegar and sold in jars.
The buds are harvested in the morning by hand and sorted separately based on their sizes. For instance, buds that measure up to 7mm are known as non-pareil, the 8mm ones are known as surfines and the ones measuring 9mm to 11mm are known as capatoes.
The sorting of caper buds is essential as different sizes will have a specific purpose and used in specific dishes. For instance, pickled capers often contain non-pareil and capatoes. As a condiment, non-pareil caper buds are often used.
Regardless of their size and the method of cooking, caper buds offer a unique taste and flavor to the dishes they are incorporated in.
What Do Capers Taste Like?
Now that we know what capers are and how they look, it is time to start describing how they taste.
Just like other vegetables, capers can actually be eaten in several ways. The most common method, however, involved capers being sprinkled on smoked salmons. Also, you can see caper buds incorporated in salads and eaten simply as snacks.
In addition, you will often see cured capers pickled in jars in your local stores. Pickled capers taste just like cucumber pickle. However, they offer a sharper, tangy and piquant taste. In some cases, you may also taste a touch of sourness when you eat pickled capers.
The fresh caper buds do not have any special flavor. However, when they are brined with vinegar, salt and olive oil or sun-dried, the sharpness of the taste of the buds is enhanced. Thus, many people who have tried them often describe their taste as a unique that they can never forget.
Preparing and Cooking Capers
If you are incorporating capers into your dish, you have to prepare it well through rinsing the buds and patting it dry.
One way to cook capers involves combining it with mustard, white wine vinegar, honey, lemon juice, and grated celeriac to make remoulade sauce. To make a sauce for grilled salmon, you can mix capers with melted butter, zest, and lemon juice.
You can also add capers to your pizza as toppings.
Storing capers is easy and simple. Also, caper buds can last for a long time if you properly prepare and store the buds.
Capers that are submerged in liquid or brine can actually last for a very long time. For this reason, you can often see pickled capers in your local stores.
Salt-packed capers are also available. For this preparation, the buds can last for a long time even when you left the buds unrefrigerated.
You can store unopened capers in your pantry provided that the temperature does not go higher than 75 degrees Fahrenheit. However, opened capers must be stored in the fridge. Also, you have to make sure that the capers are fully submerged in brine or liquid.
How Can You Tell If Your Capers Are Spoiled
Yes, it can be tough to tell if capers have gone bad, especially if you are new to this. Eventually, however, you will learn the art of telling whether or not your capers have gone bad and everything will become easier.
Since most capers are sold in jars, the best way to determine whether it has gone bad is through inspecting the top of the lid. If the top of the lid is shaped like a dome and not flat, then the caper buds most likely have gone bad.
The small pop when opening the jar will also tell you that the capers are still safe to eat. However, if there is no pop, it could be that the seal has already been broken.
Another way to tell whether the caper buds have gone bad would be to inspect how they look. If the buds have turned black or brown, you should discard it right away. Also, a foul odor from the jar should indicate rotten buds.
Health Benefits of Capers
Capers offer numerous health benefits. Here are some of them.
Caper buds are rich in flavonoid compounds including quercetin and rutin, which are both potent sources of antioxidants. That being said, antioxidants reduce free radicals, which cause cancer and other skin-related diseases.
Contains Essential Minerals
Caper buds are rich in calcium, iron, copper, and sodium. Calcium promotes bone and teeth health while copper along with certain proteins produces enzymes that function as catalysts to certain bodily functions. Lastly, iron help muscles efficiently store and use oxygen.
Caper buds are good sources of certain vitamins including Vitamins K and A, and niacin and riboflavin. Vitamin A improves eye health, vitamin K promotes bone health, niacin reduces cardiovascular diseases, and riboflavin boosts your energy.
Caper buds are also good sources of dietary fiber, which reduces gastrointestinal discomfort and constipation.
Promotes Healthy Skin
Capers are also good for dry skin. In fact, it is believed that eating capers can help moisturize the skin. Also, it can treat skin disorders like skin irritation, redness, and pimples.
The Bottom Line
Caper buds do not only offer numerous benefits but also a unique and exciting flavor. Also, you can cook and incorporate the capers into different recipes and dishes like sauces, pizzas, and pasta.
If you have not tried one yet, you should try one today!