CAPERS – do you know what they are?

They’re delish. You cook with them, but do you know what they are?

I wanted a quick, easy recipe for tilapia, and found a delightfully simple, quick one that included wine, salt and pepper, butter and parsley – that’s it! Just my kind of recipe, and the tilapia is pan-fried, also simple and quick. (Just turn off the heat before you add the parsley and capers in the last step.)Capers

As I returned the small jar of capers to the fridge, I wondered what a caper was, really.  Google to the rescue. I found splendidtable.org and learned from David Rosengarten that capers come from a plant called capparis spinosa, and that capers are actually a bud that grows on the plant every spring. Left to itself, it will produce the lovely purple flower shown here. After the flower’s done blooming, the plant produces a fruit called the caper berry.

The berry resembles an olive, has a similar taste, and David says it’s quite delicious. In Greece, the leaves of the plant are also used.

The caper plants are grown in the Mediterranean, Asia and Australia. And yes, they can be cultivated. If I lived in a warmer climate, I’d try it myself. What a delicious conversation piece!Caper Flower

What, you may ask, does this have to do with writing? It’s research, which I always enjoy; they’re delish, and one of my characters will likely be cooking with them.

Want to know more? Here’s the URL:  http://www.splendidtable.org/story/you-cook-with-capers-but-do-you-know-what-they-really-are

Wishing you a fragrant, delicious day!

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