What are capers? If you are a foodie, you must have encountered capers. These small, green, and spicy buds are used in various cuisines worldwide.
However, despite their popularity, many people are still unclear about capers, where they come from, their use, and their nutritional benefits.
In this blog, we will look in-depth at capers, answer some frequently asked questions, and explore how you can incorporate them into your cooking.
What are Capers?
Capers are the edible flower buds of the Capparis spinosa plant, which belongs to the Capparaceae family.
These tiny buds are usually pickled in vinegar or salt brine to enhance their flavor and preserve them for longer.
Capers are commonly found in the Mediterranean region but are also grown in other parts of the world, including Asia, Africa, and Australia.
Uses of Capers in Cooking
What are capers used for in cooking? Capers are a versatile ingredient that can be added to different dishes to enhance their flavor. The photo is an example from the blog post by Jessica Gavin.
They have a tangy, slightly salty taste that pairs well with seafood, salads, pasta, meat, sauces, and dressings.
Capers can be used whole or chopped, depending on the dish.
They can also be blended with other ingredients, such as tapenade, to make flavorful spreads. In Mediterranean cuisine, capers are often used in words such as caponata, puttanesca, and salade Niçoise.
Nutritional Benefits of Capers
Not only are capers delicious, but they also offer several health benefits. They are rich in antioxidants, which help to fight free radicals and reduce inflammation in the body.
Capers are also low in calories and fiber, making them a great addition to a healthy diet.
Additionally, capers contain quercetin, a flavonoid linked to improved cognitive function and reduced risk of heart disease.
How to Buy and Store Capers
When buying capers, look for jars or containers that are tightly sealed to preserve their freshness and flavor.
In most grocery stores or specialty food stores, you can find capers in a brine or vinegar solution. Store unopened jars in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry, for up to a year.
Once opened, keep them in the refrigerator, and they should last for several months.
Ways to Use Capers in Cooking
Capers can be used in various dishes to add flavor and depth. Here are some of the ways you can use them in your cooking:
Add them to your favorite pasta salad
Mix them into your tuna salad sandwich
Sprinkle them on top of your pizza
Mix them into your homemade salad dressing
Add them to your seafood recipes, such as shrimp scampi or grilled salmon
So, what are capers? Capers are a small but mighty ingredient that can transform the flavor of any dish. Not only do they add a tangy, salty taste, but they also offer several health benefits.
Whether you are a seasoned chef or a novice cook, capers are a must-have ingredient in your pantry. Give them a try, and you will surely love their unique flavor. Check out our other Food blog posts.