Capers from Salina stand our for their compactness, fragrance and uniformity.
They are harvested every 8-10 days between the end of May and the end of August. Pickers start very early in the morning to avoid the summer heat. The capers are placed on jute cloths to separate the small and large capers, the buds about to bud, and the caper berries - the actual fruit from the caper plant.
Then they are salted by alternating a layer of capers with a layer of coarse sea salt. Starting on the first day, the capers are transferred from one tank to the next to prevent the combined action of the salt and the heat from fermentation, from ruining the capers. They are ready to eat after about 40 days.
A perennial shrub of probable tropical origin, the caper bush has been commonly used from time immemorial throughout the Mediterranean for both food and medicinal purposes.
Choose smaller capers, which have more flavour, and those preserved in salt give off more aroma without the use of dangerous additives, which are often added to pickled products.
Capers are not used fresh because when they are fresh, they don’t have an aroma and are bitter. It is only after they have been preserved in salt or pickled that a series of enzymatic processes is activated which gives them their typical slightly spicy and sour aroma.
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