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Capers

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Photo of Veal Piccata with Capers

Veal Piccata with Capers.

Photo © Danilo Alfaro
Definition: In the culinary arts, capers are the immature flower buds of the caper bush (Capparis spinosa), which grows in Mediterranean regions.

Capers are generally pickled and are used in a number of Italian recipes such as chicken piccata, veal piccata and pasta puttanesca. Sometimes capers are cured by salting rather than pickling. Cooking with capers is a matter of balancing their tangy, briny, pickly flavor against some sort of smooth, buttery or velvety flavors and textures.

Capers are also widely used in sauce making, in salads, as a condiment or as a flavorful garnish. Capers are frequently used in conjunction with lemons. They pair well with salmon, especially smoked salmon.

Capers substitute: Because capers have such a strong briny taste, you could try using finely diced green olives instead.
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