Capers are small and nugget-like from a bush that will grow virtually anywhere as long as it is left to do so. If capers are not picked as immature buds, they eventually grow into caperberries. This hardy perennial comes from the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa. Capers are part of the Mediterranean diet and closely resemble olives. It is known to promote appetite, it is used in Hors d’oeuvres frequently.
Capers enhance flavor without adding significant amounts of calories, fat, or sugar. Capers contain a variety of antioxidants.
- Vitamin A important for vision, bone development, and immune function
- Vitamin E supports immune function, vision, and skin health
- Manganese contributes to healthy bones
- Niacin supports heart health and nervous system function
- Calcium important for strong bones
How to Shop
Capers are unpalatable fresh, so they need to be cured to be enjoyed. Capers can be cured in a brine, in vinegar or in salt. These curing processes not only preserve capers but bring out their flavor. Choose a jar that has your preference of flavored caper. The smaller, the more punch they pack.
How to Grow
Capers grow best in full sun, and when planted on a mound of well drained material over good rich soil. Caper plants need a hot and dry climate. The plants require some watering until established after that, they require no watering. Capers should be harvested when the bud is still tight. The bush can be harvested every 10-12 days during the hot season.
How to Store
Capers are a cured food that are built to be shelf stable, so they have some staying power. Even an open bottle of capers, if the buds are kept submerged under their brine, will last for up to a year in the refrigerator. Capers packed in salt will last for about a year from harvest. Bright white salt indicates freshness.