They look like green peanuts and are on every meal menu in Mediterranean dishes.
Yes, they’re capers.
But don’t confuse them with caperberries; they’re fruits of a different plant altogether.
Capers are flavorful, healthy, and have many culinary uses; they can make or break a dish and add significant visual elements to your meal.
But they’re also good to munch on with a drink.
So what do capers taste like? Guessing their taste from appearance alone is quite impossible.
So we’ll help you learn all about these green berry-like buds.
What is Caper?
Caper bush or Flinders rose produces pinkish-white flowers that form from tiny, green buds.
These buds are the capers that you find in markets.
They’re a popular Mediterranean food that is marketed as caper berries.
Commercially sold capers are green and rounded because they’re picked before maturing and left to cure and dry.
The curing is mainly done in a saline medium such as salt or vinegar.
Sometimes they are also cured in solutions with spices and have the corresponding flavors of the ingredients used.
You can find capers in glass containers in the condiment section of grocery stores.
They are pretty expensive, but the complex manufacturing process justifies their price.
In the culinary world, capers are known for being excellent garnishes and seasonings.
Many variants of capers are available, and you’ll find them as small as 7mm in diameter or larger than 15mm.
What Do Capers Taste Like?
Capers are tangy, salty, and sometimes sour.
Their aroma can be somewhat floral, while the texture is chewy and soft.
The extent to which they taste sour or salty depends on the size of the capers and how they were prepared.
The saltiness comes as an acquired taste from the manufacturing process.
Their taste can range from delicate to acidic depending on the stage of flowering they were picked in.
If the caper buds were picked during the initial budding stage, they’ll be small (about 7mm in diameter) and have a rich, delicate flavor with a slight tanginess.
The texture will be firm and compact, almost like a pea.
However, if the capers are large, they were picked during the later stage of flowering and will taste different.
These capers, called Grusas, have a looser texture and taste tart and acidic.
You might want to consider not using them as flavorings for dishes, as they can overwhelm your palate.
Since larger capers have a loose structure, they absorb the flavors of other ingredients well while enveloping them with bitter elements.
A small quantity is enough to flavor your food when using them.
Capers can provide you with some protein, copper, and fiber, so they’re not entirely bad for you.
They’re also rich in antioxidants and help reduce inflammation.
The tangy flavor left after curing makes them taste similar to green olives.
Both are round, green, and tangy, but how are their tastes different?
Olives are bitter, so trying capers is one way to prepare yourself to eat olives if you’ve never tried them.
However, they can sometimes be sweet, and capers are never sweet; this makes them parallelly different.
How to Cook and Serve Capers?
Cooking with capers is fun because you can use them as substitutes for salt.
And if you’re uncertain of how to do it, here are some ways you can incorporate them into your meals:
Tuna salad: Anything seafood is a safe choice for capers.
Since tuna is an easily accessible option, it’ll make an excellent experimental dish to use capers.
Complementary vegetables with mild flavors and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice will help enhance the flavor even more.
Pizza topping: If you like tangy flavors in pizzas but cannot handle a pineapple-flavored one, try capers instead.
When these green buds mix with the cheese and crunchy veggies, the flavors turn pleasantly tangy.
Mushroom soup: Mushrooms are generally earthy and comforting to eat.
So you can add a tangy twist to its creamy soup by adding a few capers towards the end of the cooking process.
Small nonpareils capers will do better for this method as they have a more de4licate flavor.
When cooking capers, it will prove helpful if you limit the amount you to a dish; they’re pickled in salt and packed with sodium.
Also, more miniature capers are less bitter, so they work well as food flavorings.
Capers are tiny green buds obtained from the perennial Flinders rose.
Since they’re cured in a saline solution, they have a salty and tangy taste.
They also taste similar to olives which are a bit on the bitter end of the taste chart.
You can use capers as garnishes on pasta, pizza, and salads.
Or, you can use them as taste enhancers for savory dishes.
Since they’re pretty expensive, you can buy a smaller packet to see if they work for your palate.