Capers, used as a seasoning or condiment, are the pickled, unopened buds of the caper bush, a spiny shrub native to dry, rocky areas in the Mediterranean. In Italy, acres of caper bushes are grown, from which harvesters pick the buds at their prime. Once harvested, the buds are sun-dried and then pickled in a vinegar brine. Capers cannot be served fresh, as they have a bitter flavor. They must be pickled before eating. Capers range in size from petite to large, depending on how long they are allowed to grow. Petite buds offer a higher quality compared to larger ones because the petals are more tightly packed. Agostino Recca’s capers are of the petite type (non-pareil), preserved the old fashioned way, as they are packed in rock salt. The salt is a preservative but also adds flavor. Rinse or soak the capers in water before usage to eliminate excess salt.
- use a seasoning or condiment
- packed in rock salt
- pickled in vinegar
- petite type
- Imported from Italy
Capers in brine cannot compare. Brine turns the buds to mush. These are crisp high quality capers in salt at a good price from Agostino Recca. You can find them in twenty-four oz elsewhere on Amazon. So I could have given that one five stars on best buy basis.
I gave it four stars considering only a few in brine get three stars. Most get one star as weak and adulterated by things other than salt in the brine. So most pure salt brine still get only two stars. Not worth the low quality since these are available.
This is my everyday old reliable. Do not cook them. Rinse out the salt if you do not need it, and use them after cooking is over, even in a caper sauce. They need only warm to blossom. They respond well to mortar and pestle.
I saved five stars for the ones from Pantalleria which go with caviar, or best quality tuna or veal.