So what are those little green peppercorn looking things you see adorning dishes like Dijon Pork Tenderloin & Lemon Salmon?Â Why, they’re one of my favorite things- capers.Â Capers are immature or unopened green flower buds of the Capparis Spinosa which is a bush grown mainly in dry heatÂ & intense sun like the Mediterranean countries or California.
Caper buds must be hand-picked on the morning they reach the appropriate size.Â After the buds are picked they are sun-dried & then pickled in a salty vinegar brine and delivered to your local store.Â Before you break out the capers, make sure you rinse thoroughly to flush out as much salt as possible.Â
Capers have a sharp, pungent flavor similar to that of mustard & black pepper.Â They are a fantastic compliment to fish, pork and sauces.Â Capers are sometimes substituted for olives to garnish your favorite martini.Â
The caper is said to be native to the Mediterranean basin and was mentioned by Dioscorides as being a product of the ancient Greeks.Â Capers were used as a medicinal to reduce severe flatulence.Â The immature flower bud was also mentioned by the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder.
Capers were apparently the talk of the town in Greece and Italy.Â Let’s not let them have all the fun & get into the kitchen with my ‘The Great Salmon Caper Recipe’ post coming soon.