Capering around the countryside looking for…capers!

Capers are the un-ripened flower buds of a prickly pant called Capparis Spinosa. The plant commonly grows in the Mediterranean and some areas of Asia.

Caper plants adore old Tuscan walls

In Tuscany caper plants are often found on rocky slopes or even with the cracks of old walls that are exposed to the south. The plants are somewhat demanding as they need both good humidity and constant temperatures, and do not cope well with sudden frosts. Capers have great diuretic properties and assist in taking care of blood vessels. And they taste really good.

Both the flower-bud and the fruit (caper berry) itself are edible, and are usually consumed pickled. The shrubby plant has oval leaves and fragrant flowers.

Capers lend a salty, pungent and vinegary punch to other ingredients and are a distinctive component of Italian, especially Sicilian cuisine. They are most often used in salads, pasta sauce and, meat dishes.

Chef Luigi often uses capers in the dishes produced for L’Olivaia Restaurant; capers can only be harvested by hand, and early in the morning when we see Luigi moving around the fields and woodlands around Villa Campestri, capers might just be what he is looking for.


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