The Great Caper Caper

Hey Corduroy–
What exactly is a caper? My sister claims that it’s a juniper berry, but that doesn’t sound right to me.

Hey A–

You’re right: a caper is its own plant, completely different from juniper. I know what juniper plants look like because one of my apartments in New Orleans had juniper growing in front of it. The sidewalk smelled like gin in the summer. It was sickening, but then again, I’m not a fan of gin.

Which really means that I’m not a fan of juniper: it’s what provides gin’s flavor. Capers are obviously completely different. What exactly they are, I wasn’t sure until tonight when I looked it up because you asked.

It turns out that capers are cloely related to the cabbage family, which includes such edibles as mustard and wasabi, thus their slightly bitter flavor. The capers you buy have been pickled, which is why they taste somewhat sour as well.  Also, they have magnificent flowers that only bloom for a short time. But really, anything I tell you is going to be regurgitation. Instead, I recommend that you check out Gernot Katzer’s Spice Page about capers, which features concise, thorough information and some great photos of the amazing caper flower.

One Response to “The Great Caper Caper”

  1. Dia Carmona Says:

    Oh really I didn’t even know what a caper was until now thanks.

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