Wednesday, July 15, 2009


A friend here is patient enough to pick and pickle capers.
Don't ask me how. I just remember seeing that it takes a lot of rinsing and changing of water and soaking for the first few days.
And finally the capers sit around getting pickled.
Caper, defined:
1. any of numerous plants of the genus Capparis
2: pickled flower buds used as a pungent relish in various dishes and sauces
The bush grows wild, usually where you don't want it. In the woods, by the roadside, in your yard; usually in rocky places. Even in a stone wall.

Enlarge this photo to see a bud or two. The buds have to be picked at just the right stage of the game.
The flowers are beautiful but the thorns are sharp, stubborn, and painful when attached to skin.
Click on an earlier post to see capers and caterpillars.
Because it grows in crevices and cliffs, the caper became a symbol of the Jewish people's will to survive. The (Babylonian) Talmud, in Beitza 25b, says,

"There are three who are especially daring [tenacious, stubborn]: Israel among the nations, a dog among the animals, and a caper among the trees."


mire said...

beautiful Dina
that is a beautiful photo explanation of the caper to cultivate beauty first and then to dine.

don't we all have to struggle to survive for some people it is just more obvious.

shalom love and light

Cloudia said...

Wow! I never knew that! Thanks, Dina.
Aloha & Shalom

Comfort Spiral

Pietro said...

The photos of the bushes are very nice! I don't like at all the caper flavour! :-)

spacedlaw said...

The have the loveliest flowers.

Kay said...

I've always loved pickled capers but even more so after seeing this post. I've had a hard time finding a brand of capers I really like though. I tried a couple of bottles and they weren't quite as good.

Louis la Vache said...

Very interesting post about the capers, Dina!

«Louis» is happy you saw his Bastille Day post.

Anonymous said...

This was interesting to me. We pickle things or buy it that way. Mostly, we "used to" pickle things. Now we don't even hang the clothes outside on a perfectly hot and sunny day. To dry them we turn on a machine. That's progress.

Thank you very much for visiting my Brookville Daily Photo blog and for the comment you left me there.
Brookville Daily Photo

Mediterranean kiwi said...

my goodness, do you use capers a lot? i pickle them too, but we dont use them often enough for me to make more than one jar - they literally grow all over the place here

Nazzareno said...

I still have a million things to learn!

Yaelian said...

How lovely to have freshly picked capers and to be able to pickle them at home. Now I guess I will know what it is when I see one.....

Sailor Girl said...

That looks yummy!!!
Thank you, Dina!!!

Stanley said...

Thanks for your informative reply on my question on the wailing wall. I really gotta visit Jerusalem one day. Judging from your posts the place is SATURATED with history!

Robin said...

We just bought a jar of capers the other week but I bet those homemade ones taste a whole lot better.

FA said...

Great post, Dina. I love to cook with capers. Although I know where they come from I had never actually seen the plant. Thanks for sharing.

Reader Wil said...

Thank you Dina for this post. I've often eaten capers, but never realised that they were such strong plants with such beautiful flowers. Thanks for your visit and very nice comment.

Vagabonde said...

I really like capers. When I was going to school, on the Left Bank, I used to eat many “Steak Tartares” because they were cheap. It is very important to have capers in them to give them an extra lift. I had never seen the bush though and that was interesting.

Jew Wishes said...

What a lovely post with lovely photos. I'm drooling over the capers.

I love capers, capers on salmon, in salad with artichoke hearts, in tomato sauce, in so many things. LOL.


Leif Hagen said...

Beautiful wild bushes, Dina! Why don't I see your blog listed on the citydailyphoto thumbnails? Have I missed it?? Fun to see snaps from Israel!