Sprinkle Dried Capers On Popcorn For A Tangy Burst Of Flavor

The vast selection of interesting flavors now available for commercial popcorn should inspire you to discover new twists on how to make your homemade creation unique and tasty, too. Think beyond the usual sweet and savory profiles and experiment with novel flavoring ingredients. Our suggestion? Dried capers. 

A staple in Mediterranean cooking, brined capers are worth having in your pantry because of the salty, tangy, and umami punch they give to a variety of dishes, from stews and sauces to pasta and salads. They become even more versatile when dehydrated since you can crush dried capers into powder to use as seasoning. Do this with a mortar and pestle or, for a more even consistency, pop the dried capers into a spice grinder. In powdered form, they're ready to be sprinkled over your homemade popcorn for a tasty movie-night treat that awakens your taste buds. 

To add depth to the flavor, pair your dried caper powder with some lemon zest; if you've ever cooked or eaten chicken piccata, you know that lemon and capers go really well together. You can also combine powdered dried capers with dried dill and parmesan cheese for a more subtle blend of brine, herby citrus, and salt that will leave you wanting more. To add richness to your popcorn's flavor and balance the dried capers' intensity, drizzle melted butter before sprinkling the seasonings. This also helps the powder cling to the popcorn.

You can season popcorn with capers in different ways

Adding crunchy dried capers to popcorn without crushing them first is also fine if you like having surprise bursts of salty tanginess whenever you bite into one while working your way through the tub. Just remember to add other, easier-to-distribute seasonings, like the aforementioned dill, cheese, and melted butter, to ensure better flavor dispersion. Garlic powder and toasted sesame seeds or pine nuts are good choices, too. 

You can buy dried capers in grocery stores or you can make your own batch from a jar of pickled capers. Spread them out on a baking sheet and place them in the oven to dehydrate for six hours at 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Take out the tray once in a while to shake the capers so they dry evenly. Place the dried capers in an airtight container only after they've completely cooled and store them in a cool, dry, and dark place. 

For a quicker option, you can fry them, too. These small buds open up when dropped in hot oil, their petals unfurling and becoming crispy. Capers lose some of their tang as they get fried but develop a nutty hint instead while still retaining a salty kick. This makes them a great garnish for elevating any dish — and that includes popcorn. An extra bonus is the texture and crackle they provide to your snack. Prepare capers both ways and savor the difference in the flavors they give to your popped kernels.