Re: Capers

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Posted by Eric on July 26, 2000 at 19:11:33:

In Reply to: Re: Capers posted by Sharon on June 27, 2000 at 19:58:03:

: : What is a caper; plant, vegetable, herb, what...? My husband loves them. We buy them in the condiment section of several local supermarkets
: : Thanks:
: : : : : : I always love to have capers in my pantry --salted, in brine andnow caper berries -- great with a drink.

: : : : : We can I purchase Caper Berries? Had them over the weekend and would love to try in a Martini!

: : : : I have capers and caper berries in stock.

: We love capers but we can not find out for sure what they are...Think they are related to peppercorns and where they come from....Any thoughts........please let us know

>> Capers are the pickled, unopened flower buds of the plant capparis spinosa - a thorny bush native to the Mediterranean. Most capers come from Spain, although you can find some coming from France and Italy - I've heard that some folks out in Cali are trying to establish the bushes out there, but have no idea if they've had any success. Caper berries are the fully ripened fruit of the plant, also pickled in brine. Both have a distinct, lightly floral flavor, and a sour bite (from the brine); caper berries have a meaty texture, with tiny seeds inside. Caper berries are particularly effective when paired with rich foods and Mediterranean flavors; try them on a mixed green salad with olives, maybe some Greek cheese (feta, kefalateri), cherry or plum tomatoes, and red onions, with a good red wine vinaigrette. Or take the same ingredients, without the greens and cheese, and saute with garlic and season with fresh basil, sea salt, and cracked black pepper, for a warm ragout to serve with grilled fish or a lamb roast (or grilled lamb mini-t-bones, for that matter). For a more Spanish flavor, forget the cheese, and add red peppers (pimentos - you can buy them whole, canned and in jars), and roasted eggplant, and serve with sauteed whole anchovies (mussels would be good, too - saute 'em with the ragout, and top with white or red wine [rioja].

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