Aromatic plants

Caper plant

What are capers

Capparis spinosa is a shrub with a drooping habit. The buds, called capers, are consumed from the plant, and rarely the fruit known as cucunci. Both are preserved in vinegar or in salt. The caper plant is about 30-50 cm tall and is characterized by slightly corpulent leaves with velvety texture. The fruit is an oblong and green capsule, with a pinkish pulp. The caper comes from Asia and Greece and has been cultivated since ancient times, due to the climatic conditions the favorable area is the Mediterranean one. The caper rests during the cold months and resumes flowering during the summer in conditions of favorable humidity. On the market you can find capers of different sizes, the smaller ones are considered more valuable. The best known caper is that of Pantelleria,

How to grow the caper

The caper plant grows mostly spontaneously, we often find it trapped in the cracks in the walls, or in tight corners of the dry stone walls of the countryside. When we decide to adopt a caper plant we need to take care of how to grow the caper. First of all, the plant cannot tolerate water stagnation, but at the same time it needs a lot of water, so as to grow rapidly. Care must be taken with snails, as the caper as a plant is subject to its attacks. When we decide to grow it in pots, therefore on our terrace, we must think of an excellent drainage system and then place layers of stones on the bottom of the pot and also in the central part, alternating earth and pebbles. Knowing how to support the caper plant is important, it is necessary to keep the root cube intact. Water abundantly but several times. Basically you must always keep the skin moist.

How to collect the caper

When to harvest capers and how to store them? The question we ask ourselves after deciding to plant the caper in our garden. First of all, remember that we must collect the bud of the caper. These buds do not have a sudden and immediate growth, but they grow at different times. Therefore we must arm ourselves with patience and go to visit the plant every day for a few consecutive days and collect the capers, deciding from the beginning if we want them small or larger. The caper is mainly harvested early in the morning, both to avoid the heat of the summer season, and also to always keep the birth of the flower under control, because the bud must be collected before this time. Every day after finishing the harvest, the capers are left in the air to dry to prevent them from blooming.

Plant caper: How to store capers

How to keep the caper? There are two methods of preserving the caper. The first is pickled, after the day in the air, put the capers in a jar and cover the entire content of white wine vinegar, put in a spacer with the lid, to make sure you have all the capers under the vinegar . The other method used is to preserve the capers in salt. First we rinse the capers to remove the dust, then one by one they must be deprived of the stem, cutting it with the nail. Every time we get a layer of one centimeter in the jar, we put four or five pinches of sea salt. Let’s remember to divide the capers by size. Every day for a week we must eliminate the water that is based on the bottom and fill with other capers already processed in salt.

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