As a plant, capers have been popular to the Greeks since ancient times, which ate them as an appetizer, but also used them for their medicinal properties.
The official name is Caparisspinosa, and it is a shrub whose leaves (caper leaves), are collected and processed – made into pickles so they can have them available throughout the year.
The collection of capers is during the months of May, June and July, when the buds have not bloomed as yet. The buds and the leaves are used in many recipes, especially in salads and cold appetizers.
Personally I prefer using them in a simple Greek salad as well as a mousse served with cheese.
I collected these capers you see in the photos in the region of Argolidas, on the Kiveriou-Agios Georgios beach.
Some of the nutritional benefits of capers are: The buds and the root of caper are diuretics, kidney disinfectants, good tonic, anti-atherosclerotic, emmenagogue and aphrodisiac.
The famous Greek doctor Dioscorides mentions that he used the leaves and the root of Caper to combat swelling.
The capers are low calories, only 6 calories per 4 tbsp. but high in Vitamins A, E, C, K, calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium and copper • Fatty acids, and many more.
Trust nature and the ancient ways of using herbs in recipes. Add in your daily diet, what the Greek land offers you and what we give you with care.
If you remember to pick capers in your holiday, you should initially soak them in water for five to six days to take the bitterness way. Change the water daily. Then seal them in jars with fennel seeds, filled to the rim with brine or with oil and vinegar. Store like that for years.
Story and photos from: Executive Chef Panos Kokkalas