You must have heard of the Mediterranean’s recipes which are well-known a long time ago as the most healthy and nutritious foods in the world. In fact, Mediterranean region is home to a lot of greatest vegetables, salmon and herbs used in cooking as well. How about capers – small green buds harvested from caper plants often grown wildly in Mediterranean region like Italy, Spain and Greek? Have you ever heard of them or tried them before? What do capers taste like?
What Are Capers?
- Where do capers grow? As said above, caper plants are rarely commercially grown by farmers around the world like other vegetables but easily see to see caper plants clinging and protruding from rocks and grow wildly in Mediterranean region like Spain, Greek and Spain where the climate and soil seems to be formed to adapt to the capers. However, because capers aren’t easily found from where they don’t grow or can be grown due to the inadaptable climate, it is necessary to describe a bit about this vegetable.
- How do capers look like? Capers are small green unopened buds and look like small cabbage a bit, of course, in case you are a person who has a great imagination. When they are fully blossomed the buds become pinkish-white flowers, but the part which are often pickled in vinegar and sold in jars are the buds of capers.
- Why are caper buds sorted? Capers are usually harvested by hand in the mornings and then sorted separately by their sizes and based on their sizes to have their own names. For example, the up-to 7 mm buds are named non-pareil, ones are 8 mm long is called surfines and capatoes are long about 9 – 11 mm. Plus, why they are classified into different sizes is each size will be used for particular purpose and particular dish. For making pickled capers, non-pareil and capatoes are selected, for making it as a condiment, non-pareil is the perfect one to be used, but whatever their sizes are and whatever they are cooked or cured, they also create the unique taste and flavor to the food they are incorporated. In addition, caper buds harvested from the plants that have no thorns are said to be the best in quality.
What Do Capers Taste Like?
Are you wondering what caper taste like? And how they are often eaten? Like other vegetables, capers can be eaten in numerous ways. Commonly, they are sprinkled on smoked salmons, included in salads or eaten as snacks and of course, the recipes for capers will be still continuously evolved and explored.
However, the most common capers are cured and eaten is pickled types which are also sold widely in stores, so depending on the ways caper are cooked or cured, they will have their own unique tastes and flavors. As many people’s opinions, pickled capers are nearly the same as cucumber pickle but a little sharper, tangy and piquant and sometimes, you may feel the touch sour when you taste them.
In fact, fresh caper buds don’t have any special flavors, but when they are sun-dried or brine with vinegar, olive oil and salt, the sharpness in capers is increased and gives the foods they are paired with a unique taste that any eaters can never forget. Although, it can be a little adventurous for those who have never tried before, capers are really worth a try.
Plus, they are also a great source for bioflavonoid and anti-oxidant and trying something isn’t hurt, so why to be afraid of giving them a try and then get your own experience with these wonderful Mediterranean vegetable type? Because they are now commercially cultivated in some areas of Mediterranean, and even in USA like California, and sold widely in stores, it is easy to buy a jar of pickled capers from food stores, so if you buy this type, just remember to thoroughly wash them with water to get rid of the excess salt water before mixing them with your salads or pair with another ingredients.
A Tasty Recipe For Capers
Because the tastes of eaters around the world are not the same, people have explored numerous ways to eat their capers. Some would like to make them salads while some others would like to go with the very Mediterranean ingredients like pepper, courgette or salmon. Anyway, each recipe will bring eaters a unique experience. Here a great recipe for capers that is worth a try and that is also a very Mediterranean style.
- Smashed capers – 130 g
- Spaghetti – 7 ounces
- Plum tomato – 8 (cut into dices)
- Minced garlic – 2 cloves
- Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
- Salt – 1 teaspoon
- Pepper – ½ teaspoon
- A handful of basil leaves (chopped)
- Add water to a large pot, bring to a boil, and add your spaghetti, cook it until al dente, drain the water and set aside.
- Meanwhile, add the olive oil to a pan and let it coated the bottom evenly, and then let the oil is heated.
- Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes and cook, stir for 6 minutes. When your tomatoes are tender and thicken, it is alright to mix with capers and cook for another several minutes.
- Season the mixture of capers and tomatoes with salt and pepper.
- Chop your basil leaves and add to the mixture, and remember to lower heat to let it simmered.
- Add cooked spaghetti to the mixture, toss to combined well and adjust your taste.
- You can also garnish your dish with the remaining basil leaves.
- It’s done and time to enjoy!
Note: if your spaghetti is too dried, you can also add the reserved pasta water.