Friday, October 29

Crazy Capers

    I don't use capers all that fact, hardly ever. I decided to add them to some soup I made a week or so ago and had them laid out on my cutting board (waiting with some other ingredients to be added to the pot). My four year old, my very very picky four year old, walks in and asks to try one. Then asks for another. Then asks to have more. She was just eating them straight from the jar! I added them to a dinner earlier this week. With pasta and rice and sweet potato on her plate, what was the first thing this picky eater ate? She picked out all the capers from the pasta first. 
    My curiosity has been piqued. My picky four year old whose tastes change daily loves eating capers. What are capers? Is there any nutritional value to them? I needed to delve into the books.

    Capers are the buds of the caper bush, which are usually consumed pickled. The caper bush thrives in a semiarid climate: Morocco, the southeastern Iberian peninsula, Turkey, and the Italian islands of Pantelleria and Salina. The capers are categorized by their size, with the smallest ones (non-pareil) being the most desirable. The capers are common in Mediterranean cuisine and are used as a seasoning or garnish. After they are picked they are then pickled in a salt or salt and vinegar solution. The purpose of the pickling is to develop an intense flavor as mustard oil (glucocapparin) is released from the bud. The reaction leads to the formation of crystallized white spots on the surfaces of the buds, called rutin.  
    The flavor of the caper is similar to that of green olives. The acidity of the caper makes it popular in smoked salmon, salsa, salads, pasta salads, pasta sauces, meat dishes, pizzas and pickles. 
    Now for the nutritional value. The information is for the prepared capers and are per 100 grams (3.5 oz).

Energy20 kcal
Dietary fiber3g
Iron1.7 mg
Vitamin C4mg

    Wow, did you see that sodium?? If you eat enough capers to have a serving, you will be consuming 129 per cent of the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of sodium. Yikes! I don't plan on banning them from my kitchen, I will simply have to be mindful of how much I use. 
    I hope you found this helpful and informative! Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Thanks for the great info on capers. I love their taste, but have been hesitant to use them in my own cooking. You have made them less intimidating.


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