Capers - A Complete Guide

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My love of capers goes back to my earliest childhood memories of a wonderful dish my German born mother used to make for the family. Konnigsberger Klopps is a famous meatball dish made with ground beef and onions and served in a sauce made from the braising juices of the meatballs and finished with a generous spoon of capers to give a subtle sharpness to the finished dish. I donít ever remember paying too much attention to what they were at the time it was more the taste sensation that fascinated me, now I use capers in a number of preparations but my mind still goes back to those days sat at the family table.

Baby Capers

Capers are native to the Mediterranean; they are the flower buds of the low growing caper bush, which produces lovely white flowers from which the capers are harvested. The buds are harvested when they are firm but unopened and then preserved in salt or a mixture of vinegar and salt.

There are different sizes of capers from fine to medium and the larger caperberries with the stalk still attached. Capers are an essential with brown butter and red wine vinegar when poured over some grilled skate or a plate of fried offal and I love to serve them with a leg of boiled mutton or added to a paste of olives, anchovies, garlic and olive oil called tapenade.