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What do you like in bottled capers?

FrankJBN Jun 19, 2012 12:13 PM

I mean producer. What producer of bottled/jarred capers do you favor?

  1. Uncle Bob Jun 19, 2012 12:54 PM

    I buy 32 Oz. Roland Capers............

    8 Replies
    1. re: Uncle Bob
      johnb Jun 19, 2012 02:21 PM

      You must use a lot of capers. A 4oz bottle lasts me quite a while.

      Where I live you don't get much choice in specialty items like capers, so one pretty much buys what one can find. My current bottle is Mezetta brand.

      1. re: johnb
        Uncle Bob Jun 20, 2012 07:00 AM

        I do use a lot of Capers.....I make a Salad dressing that uses a cup,,, more or less. I use them In Piccata, salads etc.....Refrigerated that last "forever'......Last couple of jars I bought were $9.99 for 32 oz....so price is a factor as well............

        1. re: Uncle Bob
          mcf Jun 20, 2012 07:16 AM

          I use a lot, too, in making a putanesca type sauce I bake fish with, on smoked salmon and cream cheese, and in sauteed chicken dishes...

          1. re: mcf
            coll Jun 20, 2012 07:21 AM

            I go through a 32 oz bottle in a year or less too. Just for antipasta and tomato/mozz salad I use plenty. Oh and Spanish rice, tapenade and other dips.....husband supposed to be on low salt diet but it's too much of a staple to cut out completely.

            1. re: coll
              mcf Jun 20, 2012 07:51 AM

              On tomato and mozzarella??? Never seen it, never tried it! Is it otherwise the traditional basil and EVOO?

              1. re: mcf
                coll Jun 20, 2012 08:22 AM

                Yeah, my husband likes capers so much I tried adding a spoonful and it's a nice touch.

              2. re: coll
                DavidA06488 Jul 8, 2012 05:14 PM

                If you have to, you can wash and drain the bottled capers, but I love them straight from the bottle with sauteed fish w/ lemon, puttanesca sauce,tuna salad, veal or chicken tonnato, etc. As for brand, I am not a strict brandenarian. Most are pretty good, though nonpareils (smaller ones) work better for garnish, and the larger ones are better for cooking, IMHO.

            2. re: Uncle Bob
              Uncle Bob Jun 20, 2012 07:22 AM

              Love em..........

        2. g
          GH1618 Jun 19, 2012 01:08 PM

          Mine are Italbrand.

          1. mcf Jun 19, 2012 01:26 PM

            I've never noticed a difference, so I shop price. I think I have Roland at the moment.

            1. chefathome Jun 19, 2012 02:28 PM

              I use capers often so buy them in large containers. They go into my potato and tuna salads and I fry them for a snack or to sprinkle on dishes. They are superb fried! I do not have a particular favourite brand.

              Last month I purchased Mediterranean capers from a lady in Croatia where she picks them by hand. They were divine.

              4 Replies
              1. re: chefathome
                johnb Jun 19, 2012 03:34 PM

                Frying sounds interesting. Do you use the brined ones or only the salt packed?

                1. re: johnb
                  chefathome Jun 19, 2012 03:38 PM

                  I've used both for frying. When using brined, just rinse and ensure that they are dried first. The flower unfolds and they become crispy and are incredibly addictive. Excellent on fish dishes especially. It only takes about a minute to fry them and they taste quite a lot different from prior to frying.

                  1. re: chefathome
                    justdonna02 Jun 20, 2012 06:27 AM

                    I am new to the site and was wondering if you would share how you batter your capers?

                    1. re: justdonna02
                      chefathome Jun 20, 2012 08:00 AM

                      Welcome here! I don't batter them at all but dry them very well so the oil does not splatter. I simply place them in the oil without anything on them at all and they fry up to be crispy and so delicious.

                      I go through about 12 cups per year at least I would say.

              2. f
                ferret Jun 19, 2012 02:37 PM

                I purchased a jar of capers in sea salt recently (not sure of the brand, I'm not at home right now so I can't check) and find that the flavor is crisper than that of the brined capers. More caper-y for lack of a better description.

                3 Replies
                1. re: ferret
                  chefathome Jun 19, 2012 02:40 PM

                  That is how I purchase mine, too. You are right - they ARE more caper-y!

                  1. re: chefathome
                    Rilke Jun 20, 2012 04:22 AM

                    Would love a brand name if anyone would be kind enough to check :D

                    1. re: Rilke
                      chefathome Jun 20, 2012 08:04 AM

                      Those I currently have on hand are Allessia (packed in sea salt), Unico (in brine) and those I bought in Croatia were local, of course. And sooooooo amazing. My usual brand ran out recently (the big bottles) and I get them in a specialty food store. Sorry but I cannot recall the name. The brands may be different where you live from here in Canada.

                      Whenever I go to Italy I bring some back, too. We were just there in May and those are already eaten! That is how much we love capers.

                2. Delucacheesemonger Jun 20, 2012 05:26 AM

                  There are basically two different types of capers out there. The most common one is the non-pareil, quite small, generally in brine or vinegar and in small quantities comes in a jar that is the same size as the jar that holds green peppercorns. Then there are the big ones, about the size of a tick and the best of those come from Pantelleria, an island just south of Sicily, island is also famous for a sweet wine of the same name. These large ones come also in brine or vinegar as well as salt packed, these salt packed large ones are indeed great for frying. As l always have a pot of caponata lying around l use and buy a lot of capers. The flavor is similar regardless of size, but texture is different and l use the little ones for gravlax and the big ones for everything else.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                    GH1618 Jun 20, 2012 08:00 AM

                    The small "non pareils" come in a small jar in the supermarket only because most people use them infrequently. I buy mine at an Italian deli in a 16 ounce size, which is a much cheaper way to buy them. They are also available in a 32 ounce size.

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                      chefathome Jun 20, 2012 08:07 AM

                      The non-pareil I buy can now come in large bottles, thankfully. I believe they are 32 ounces. My preference is for those over the large ones. I find the larger ones to be stronger but less aromatic (those that are the size of an olive). I, too, purchase mine at a specialty Italian store for FAR less than those in the grocery store.

                      Capers are also excellent with fresh pasta.

                      1. re: chefathome
                        Delucacheesemonger Jun 20, 2012 08:40 AM

                        The ones you speak of that are the size of an olive are called caperberries and come with a stem. They if left on the bush, ripen and open up and make a fruit/blossom of the small capers, about 100 per caperberry. The caperberries are rarely used in cooking, more often to eat as is or instead of an olive or onion in cocktails.

                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                          chefathome Jun 20, 2012 08:49 AM

                          Yes. I have seen them on the bush in Italy and Croatia. Such an interesting plant!

                          1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                            Bacardi1 Jun 20, 2012 12:57 PM

                            Actually, "capers" are the flower buds; "caperberries" are the fruit that follow when a caper bud blooms & is pollinated. If you slice open a caperberry, you'll find lots of tiny seeds.

                      2. l
                        Leslie Jun 20, 2012 06:05 AM

                        I don't use a lot of capers, so I buy in a small jar. What I find annoying is getting a tablespoon or so of capers out of that tall thin bottle. I have to get a teeny tiny spoon.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Leslie
                          thymeoz Jun 20, 2012 06:53 AM

                          I use a table knife -- the blade holds them easily.

                          1. re: thymeoz
                            Leslie Jun 20, 2012 06:56 AM

                            Actually, i do often use a knife, which holds them adequately, but what's with the skinny bottle!

                            1. re: Leslie
                              mcf Jun 20, 2012 07:18 AM

                              Takes up little storage room, for an item that can hang around a long time?

                              1. re: mcf
                                Leslie Jun 20, 2012 08:12 AM

                                Yeah, I guess so.

                          2. re: Leslie
                            cayjohan Jun 20, 2012 02:28 PM

                            My melon baller rarely gets used for melon balls, but get used a lot for fishing capers out of the jar. Works great.

                            1. re: Leslie
                              DavidA06488 Jul 8, 2012 05:21 PM

                              I guess I'm kind of crude. I pour them out of a thin jar through a small seive over a bowl. I take what I want, return the rest to the jar, and pour the juice back in on top. Short and sweet.

                            2. Novelli Jun 20, 2012 07:24 AM

                              I'm not sure of the brand, but at the local Italian market that have a HUGE jar of salted capers I buy from. They're pretty fat looking and serve them by the scoop.

                              1. k
                                kseiverd Jun 20, 2012 07:27 AM

                                Not particular about brand... but prefer the little ones. One time, bought a HUGE jar at Costco/BJ's... probably a half GALLON. My sister thought I was NUTS! Filled a pint jar for fridge. I re-jarred the rest into little canning jars, did a water bath simmer long enough for lids to seal, and stock my pantry and HERS.

                                1. f
                                  FrankJBN Jun 20, 2012 08:24 AM

                                  Who knew - so many response. Thanks muchly. What I take the most from this is I should look for Italian specialty shop.

                                  re: non-pareils and large-the size of a tick. The little jars at the grocery are labelled non-pareil and they are larger than 99% of the ticks I have seen.

                                  I have used Goya, Holland House, and maybe some other brand, all from the grocery and I really find none of them satisfactory. Never thought of the italian Village a local Italian deli. Thanx again.

                                  One anecdote - when my local ACME market closed everything on the shelves was reduced various discounts 10-40% in the final days - except the jars of capers which I found in three locations within the store, all at the original price, no discount.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: FrankJBN
                                    chefathome Jun 20, 2012 08:32 AM

                                    The Italian shops are where I go for most things like this. If I recall correctly, the large jars I purchase are about four times cheaper than the tiny ones. Sort of akin to purchasing white rice flour in Asian shops for far less than grocery stores.

                                    Our ticks must be different, too, as they are smaller than the non-pareils I am used to.

                                    Funny story about the capers not being discounted. Isn't that how things seem to go?

                                    1. re: FrankJBN
                                      Delucacheesemonger Jun 20, 2012 08:42 AM

                                      Not a deer tick but the ones like a watermelon seed, maybe an engorged tick.

                                    2. chefathome Jun 20, 2012 08:28 AM

                                      This is a list of lots of recipes using capers:
                                      I like to use them whenever I can. In fact, I am borderline addicted!

                                      1. Bob W Jun 20, 2012 02:32 PM

                                        I dump capers on pizza (learned that from my dad) so I buy the big jars at Costco or BJs.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Bob W
                                          jennyfur Jun 21, 2012 01:30 PM

                                          I like to nibble the stems of the caperberries...just like nibbling on an artichoke leaf. Don't eat the stem!!!!

                                        2. a
                                          arthurk Jul 6, 2012 01:26 PM

                                          Can't help but wonder if one gets the same results with caperberries as with capers.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: arthurk
                                            Bacardi1 Jul 6, 2012 02:25 PM

                                            I've used both interchangeably in recipes & have had the same results. If subbing capers for caperberries, you need to increase the amount of capers by at least half again; if subbing caperberries for capers, you need to quarter them & obviously need to use less.

                                            1. re: Bacardi1
                                              arthurk Jul 6, 2012 03:06 PM

                                              Tnx Bacardi1. I'm referring specifically to frying, are you?

                                              1. re: arthurk
                                                Bacardi1 Jul 6, 2012 03:53 PM

                                                No - I've never fried caperberries, either whole or cut up. Sorry - misunderstood.

                                          2. iluvcookies Jul 6, 2012 01:29 PM

                                            Trader Joe's has pretty good ones. Small jar for about $3, I use them 1-2x per month. And it's a short, wide jar. Not an annoying thin one, easier to get the capers out with a teaspoon.

                                            1. Veggo Jul 6, 2012 02:22 PM

                                              I favor the smaller non-pareils. I picked up a jar of Lindsay's this week; label says they're from Turkey. I just got back to Florida after 15 months in Dallas, and I use capers with a LOT of Florida fish preparations - pompano, mangrove snapper, black grouper, shrimp, and my version of Veracruz sauce has plenty of capers. And of course capers with lox, cream cheese, bagels and red onion. I have a lot of catching up to do - the fish in Dallas really sucks overall, except for surprisingly consistent Chilean sea bass.

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