Whether you are a food explorer or not, at some point of time you might get the opportunity to taste capers, the unique ingredient from the Mediterranean region. While these green colored small flower buds look quite tempting, readers have a common query about capers. What do capers taste like? Let us explore!
Capers have been a mystery to various food bloggers as well as readers. In this article, we will provide comprehensive reviews of what are capers and what do they taste like in the same way we discussed how Eggplants taste like. Read on to unfold the mystery and if it excites your palate, you can give capers a definite try. Also, we will share some popular ways to use capers with a few tips on how to store them at home.
Before we move to what does a caper taste like, let us begin with a little background. First, let’s explain to you what capers are and what do capers look like.
What are Capers?
Capers are the buds of the plant Capparis Spinosa. When this plant creates the olive green colored buds of about the size of a pea, they are picked before flowering. Though capers are essentially the unripen buds of this plant, they come under the berry’s category.
Capers were relevant even more than 7500 years ago in modern-day Iraq. Today, they are commercially grown in Italy, Morocco, and Spain and originally grown in Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey as well.
How do Capers Look like?
As we have already known, capers come in a beautiful olive-green hue and they have the size of large peas. Different varieties of capers may vary in sizes but if you want to know the proper size, it is similar to blueberry, though without the perfect spherical shape of it. The smaller capers are more subtle and delicate and they are preferred in the food industry. Also, they have a nice aroma for flavoring.
What Does a Caper Taste like?
Here comes the most interesting part. The taste of capers actually depends upon the preservation process. Capers get their flavor from the process they are preserved in. Hence, if they are preserved with vinegar, they can have a vinegary flavor. If they are preserved with a dash of salt, they can be quite salty in taste.
Usually, capers have lemony, olivey, and salty taste owing to the popular preservation processes. Some food testers say that the taste of capers is close to a combination of mustard and black pepper. If you like both the tastes, you might like the taste of the capers as well.
Capers make an acquired taste and therefore, to admire it, you need to acquire its taste first. People who like the taste of olives might naturally enjoy capers. If you know the taste of brined green olives, you won’t be too much surprised when you taste capers for the first time.
For the salty and lemony taste, capers make a great addition to salads, vegetables, sauces, and more. Though capers may look rigged or wrinkled, they are quite smooth once your teeth have crushed through and popped their outer surface.
Popular Ways to Use Capers
We have already mentioned above that capers make an excellent addition to salads, vegetables, sauces, and more. Here are a few easy recipes that include capers.
- Salads: You can prepare a variety of salads with capers by adding it to fresh vegetables and fruits. Spring salad with caper dressing and grilled vegetable or chickpea and caper salad are some great options to try. If you want to prepare something simpler, just add it to your green salad and enjoy. You can try them out in Chickpea Sandwich too, they taste really good.
- Sauces: Caper sauce is a quick recipe that you can try. All you need to do is prepare a broth of capers, butter, vegetable stock, vinegar, and flour. You can use this sauce in your Oyster Mushroom recipe.
- Soups: Your potato and mushroom soup can get a tangy taste when you add some capers on top. You can try out using Capers in your French Onion Soup too.
- Dressings: Sprinkle some fresh capers on your daily salad, pizza, or baked veggies and enjoy.
- Marinades: Soak your veggies in a mixture of capers, oil, and garlic. Stir-fry the vegetables and enjoy.
- Pasta dishes: Lemon caper pasta with grape tomatoes is a vegan and gluten-free recipe you can try. The flavors of garlic, lemon juice, vegetable stock, and capers dominate this dish.
- Vegan caper pasta, spaghetti puttanesca, lemon caper hummus, cauliflower stakes with garlic caper sauce, and roasted potatoes with capers are some healthy recipes as well.
Nutritional Value of Capers
Including capers to your diet can help you with loads of health benefits. Low in calories, capers are super healthy with rich content of antioxidants, vitamins, and fibers. Here are some powerful nutrients it contains.
- Flavonoids: Capers are one of the highest sources of powerful flavonoid antioxidants named quercetin. Per 100 grams of capers contain approximately 234 milligrams of quercetin, which can support health issues like asthma and heart disease.
- Antioxidants: Apart from quercetin, capers are rich in rutin (or Vitamin P1), a powerful antioxidant. This antioxidant is known for healing a lot of health issues including the side-effects of chemotherapy. Rutin also reduces and balances blood sugar. You also get a lot of antioxidant properties in Bananas (bananas are vegan) too.
- Fiber: It is essential for us to have the right amount of fiber in order to prevent constipation, support weight loss, and boost healthy gut bacteria. Per tablespoon of capers ensures approximately 0.3 grams of fiber.
- Calcium, Vitamin K, and Magnesium: These three minerals are essential for our bone health. Capers, containing minerals such as calcium, vitamin k and magnesium, are good options for reducing the risk of osteoporosis, easy bone fracturing, and many more issues.
- Low Calorie: While capers are densely packed with nutrients, they are incredibly low in calories. Hence, including capers to your diet will help you to stay full without gaining too much body weight.
How Capers Can Drastically Improve Your Recipes
Capers are one of those rare foods that combine both taste and health aspects. Hence, adding them to your recipes can improve the overall quotient of the meal. Firstly, adding capers to your salad, pasta or sandwich will add an amazing flavor and taste.
If you are bored with the bland taste of your regular meals, just adding a few capers will completely change your experience. The salty or vinegary taste of capers will fill your palate with a unique flavor. Secondly, since capers are low on calories, they will help you to stick to your low-calorie diet without making you crave for unhealthy snacks. Thirdly, the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants will improve your overall health by fulfilling your recipes with their richness.
How to Store Capers
Since capers can be preserved in multiple methods, storing them depends on the shelf life of each variety. For the vinegar preserved capers, you need not worry much since they have a longer shelf life. The vinegar keeps them from spoiling even after the opening of the jar when you refrigerate it.
The salted variety lasts for a short span and therefore, you need to use them faster. This variety of capers is known for a real taste, unlike the vinegar-soaked ones. If you are thinking of storing the salted capers for a few days, seal them tightly and keep them in the refrigerator.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are capers spicy?
No, capers are generally sour and salty.
2. Are capers olives?
No, capers and olives are not the same things, though their tastes are similar.
3. What do capers taste like?
Capers can taste like olive or a combination of mustard and black pepper.
4. Which food can be a capers substitute?
Green olives are one of the best substitutes for capers.
5. What are capers used in?
Capers are used in a variety of recipes including salads, sauces, vegetables, and more.
We can conclude with the note that capers have a unique taste and texture, making them a must-try for foodies. The high amount of nutrients in capers makes them a healthy ingredient that you can easily add to your recipes.
Many food explorers have found out that they had to acquire the taste of capers until they could say they liked it. If you are fond of the piquant flavor, perhaps you end up liking capers too. It’s always fascinating to find out a new ingredient and use it to bring out some extra flavor in your recipes.