Do you recall the last time you ordered some pasta or maybe a lox bagel and saw little light green pea-size balls on them? You may have wondered what those sweet but salty small balls were and had no idea what it even was when the waiter told you it was a caper.
Well, friends, we are here to give you the answer you were searching for finally. A caper is a flower bud. The caper comes from the plant Finders Rose, aka a Caper Bush. These little flower buds are bitter if you decide to eat them right off the bush, so why do they taste so good now?
The capers you find today are actually pickled caper. It’s what gives them their salty but flavorful profile. For the most part, you can find capers used in Mediterranean and Southern Italian dishes. They are most popular with pasta or salads, but we encourage you to get creative with capers. Think of them as little bombs of flavor you can add to any dish.
Originally the Caper Bush was found in the Mediterranean, around 2,000 B.C; crazy right? The first mention of a caper was from the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh when it was listed as a food ingredient. Capers are great for substitution too, like green olives or pickled nasturtium. Capers can also come in a variety of sizes. They can go from the size of a small green pea to as big as a small olive. The smaller the caper though, the better the flavor. This is because the larger capers tend to have more acid in them.
If you love the idea of using capers in your next meal, head to your local grocery store or natural food store and search for a jar. Typically, they are sold in smaller jars that are around four ounces and are floating in a vinegar brine. If you don’t even know where to start, look for pickles, and you know you’re in the correct location for your capers.
Capers are also not too bad for your health. They are a triple threat with low calories, low fat, and low carbs. They are high when it comes to vitamin K and offer a great source of copper, iron, and magnesium to your body. Just be careful of how much you eat because they do contain a lot of sodium due to the way they are processed and stored.
So, there you have it, now you know all you need to about capers. These little flavor buds may seem a little weird to eat but trust us. The next time you’re whipping something tasty up for dinner, garnish it with some capers.