Invest In Quality Capers For Maximum Flavor

From omelets and bagels to pizza and popcorn, average recipes can be turned up with a simple addition: capers. Capers are small ingredients that pack a big appeal when adding flavor to meals and snacks. For that reason, jars of capers should be pantry staples so you can always reach for the bright, briny ingredient to pop into a dish. 

Rich, buttery, and creamy recipes balance out the punch these tiny buds deliver, and when fried, the crunch of a crispy caper can elevate an average dish into something a professional might serve. But be warned, advises Chef Daniel Holzman: Salty capers come in different brines, and not all brands are created equal regarding taste and flavor. As told to Vogue, Holzman insists that price matters when it comes to these small ingredients. You want to ensure your cupboards are stocked with the kind of earthy flavor that your carefully made dishes deserve.

Smaller capers are more expensive yet more flavorful

When it comes to purchasing capers, size matters. Larger capers are left on the bush longer, while smaller capers are collected earlier in the harvesting season. Because freshly-picked capers are small and fragile, they must be collected by hand, which makes them more expensive to buy. Only a few capers are necessary to elevate a dish's overall flavor, so consider the price tag of a jar of capers as a worthy investment. Be sure to find ones that are packaged in salt, not pickled. Pickled capers can lack the naturally intense salty flavor these ingredients can lend to dishes. 

If you find the capers you brought home are too salty or vinegary to add to recipes, you can rinse the capers before including them in your culinary attempts. To conserve and maximize usage for your capers, chop the capers into fine pieces to stretch out your supply, and be sure to refrigerate the jar to maximize their freshness. When properly covered in brine, your capers will be ready to sprinkle onto smoked salmon pasta. Or, for a crunchy snack, place a handful of capers into the air fryer and enjoy them as a stand-alone treat.