It’s Capers season on Gozo And We Love Them, But What Are They And What Makes Them So Delicious?
You’ll catch capers hiding out all over Gozo and Malta (and Southern Italy). Did you know they are actually little unopened flower buds that come from a plant called a Finders Rose (otherwise known as the Caper Bush). They don’t taste great when eaten directly from the bush and so once upon a time, one utter genius (whoever that was we love you) decided to pickle them. The vinegar essentially turns these little buds into bursts of flavour that can lift an average lunch into palatable heaven.
It’s the perfect balance of salt and acid that gives them their punchy tang. We love them scattered in pasta or with sweet baby tomatoes or a tasty feta salad. They also elevate your scrambled eggs and embellish a warm roasted veggie platter – oh and don’t forget a lush homemade tartar sauce! In our opinion, they really do add a zingy flavour bomb to just about any savoury plate.
Preparing them for pickling takes patience and appreciation. You have to cut them first then peel each one carefully, so make sure you have the time and the right frame of mind, and get lost in the fact that your family fare is just about to skyrocket into lip-smackingly universal heights. Choose only the closed buds because if they are open, they will go mushy when pickling. The smaller (younger) ones are the best. While wandering around Gozo this Spring, you can even grab yourself some salt to complete your at-home artisan experience.
- Clean, freshly cut capers
- Sea Salt
Once you have soaked and drained your caper buds make a brine of 50% Apple Cider Vinegar, and 50% Water & a good sprinkling of Sea Salt. Chuck it all in a glass jar and leave for a few days for the magic to happen. When you get the acquired taste, pop them in the fridge.
We’ll definitely be sharing some recipes using these babies so keep an eye out for some inspiring caper happenings in the coming months.
We sprinkled ours over our roasted potato, leek, shallot and carrot bake and added a sprinkle of tasty Gozitan sheeps cheese to taste. Yum.
Do you have a caper recipe that you’d like to share with GITH? email teamGITH@gmail.com