Have you ever come across a recipe that calls for capers, like spaghetti with chickpeas and tomato? Did you follow the recipe or looked for something else?
If you passed up on the recipe because you have no idea what capers are, then read on and learn everything you need to know about this ingredient that’s a staple of Mediterranean cooking.
How do they taste like?
Capers are traditionally used as condiments in the Mediterranean region. They are often found in Spanish, French, Greek, and Moroccan recipes. They can give a sour and salty taste to various main dishes. It can also spice up sauces and dressings.
Capers are also a fixture in Italian cuisine. These buds are commonly added to pasta puttanesca and chicken piccata.
Even the Indians use capers for their cooking. The pickled capers give sour and salty notes to fishes like salmon.
I use capers to add flavor to fish, chicken, and meat. It’s also a good seasoning for salad and sauce. You can also top it on pizza. Try it!
How to tell spoiled or rotten capers
Since capers are sold in jars, the best way to tell if the food has gone bad is by inspecting the top of the lid. If the top of the lid is shaped like a dome and not flat across, then the capers inside it have most likely gone bad.
You can also open the jar. If there’s a normal pop upon opening the jar, then the capers inside are still safe to use. But if there’s no pop, then the seal was earlier broken.
You can also look at the capers themselves. If the capers have gone brown or black, then I suggest you don’t eat them as these are likely to be spoiled.
The smell will also be a good indicator of the freshness of the capers. If there’s foul odor coming from the jar, you might as well throw it out.
How to use capers
In using capers, I suggest you rinse them first so that you can get rid of the liquid and allow its flavor to manifest. Most recipes also call for caper to be added to the dish towards the end of the cooking, so that the condiments would be able to keep its taste and shape.
Here’s one simple recipe involving capers that I would like to share with you. It’s sauteed chicken with olives, lemons, and capers. This is a dish that can serve 3 to 4 people.