Not known to many, capers are not new to the cuisine industry
These herbs work great wonders when used correctly and in proportion.
Join us as we discover in deeper detail whether – Do Capers Go Bad?
The caper plant or shrub bush is mainly found in Morocco, Italy, Australia, and Asia. Its use goes back to around 2000 BC.
Do you know that caper bushes are now homegrown? Home-growing capers have been attributed to their great demand for cuisines worldwide.
People normally ask if capers go bad. There are two known reasons that can make them go bad: preservation and storage.
Yes! Capers have a shelf life. Let’s find out further on reasons why this happens:
How are Capers Harvested and Stored?
Caper buds are picked when still premature and or unripe from their prickly bushes.
The premature buds are picked out before flowering and become caper berries.
The bushes known as Capparis spinosa or flinder rose are wild bushes spreading around the Mediterranean and other areas mentioned in the above paragraph.
Most often, these immature buds, upon being picked, are sorted out and dried in the sun before any preservation takes place.
Once sun-dried, they are then preserved in brine and stored in jars for future use.
Do You Know That Caper Fruits are Edible?
Yes! When these berries mature, they are the size of green olives.
They are brined and eaten like olives or pickles.
Both the buds and berries are put into full use.
What Makes the Buds Popular?
Their popularity depends on two things, making them one of the sought products in the kitchen industry.
Firstly their intense flavor, and secondly, their salty flavor.
It has been noted that taste plays a very crucial part when it comes to diet. Salty foods increase our desire to want more.
Remember, these buds are great for snacking too.
If you have ever wondered why the buds are expensive, you need to understand that these buds are hand-picked and then sorted out by size.
You might have come across larger capers if you have been out in the stores.
These are bigger than the normal size and are called non-pareil capers.
One thing that makes them expensive is that they can only be hand-picked. Hand-picking is quite costly as no machines are used during the whole process.
The buds make a perfect topping for recipes that require salt topping or flavors. It is worth noting that you can consume the buds without using them as toppings.
What is the Caper’s Shelf Life?
Storage is key here. Capers do get spoiled, and this will depend upon opening.
Once a jar is opened, it should be refrigerated. When refrigerated, they can last a year or so.
Freezing is one amazing way of ensuring that they last longer.
Freezing is best done when the container has been opened, and you are sure of using them for a year.
Like all other food products, it is prudent that you take care of the buds. If you choose to freeze as your storage method, you must dry off all brine.
Another secret that will be of great benefit is to store them in small air-tight bags for future use.
This storage mode will enable you to use what you need while leaving the balance in the fridge.
You might have noted that the air-tight containers where capers are sold have a due date of one year. These dates are important for consumers and should be noted all the time.
It’s also important to check the store-brined capers from time to time for any signs of mold.
When spoiled, there will be indications of white spots all over the jar.
What are the Other Modes of Storage Available?
Available information indicates that humidity is the Caper’s worst enemy. Avoid keeping any opened jar or container in an open place.
The pantry, away from light and any other kinds of humidity, will be an ideal place.
When these buds are left in humid places, fungi and bacteria easily find their way, and before you know it, they will have lost their taste and flavor.
Another option known to work is to dip the flower buds into vinegar or brine. This method, if stored correctly, gives capers a longer life.
How Can You Tell Expired Capers?
Capers expire and are best used for six months. They all come with the best buy date.
And if you find the smell awful, be sure to know it’s bad. Remember, store capers get old too.
It is easy to tell capers are green in color, and when there are signs of any spoilage or damage, they will turn color into brown or black.
You will be able to spot such upon opening the tight container.
Another easier way to do so is through the lid. The brined caper lids, upon purchase, lie flat.
If you find a domed-shaped jar lid, it indicates the campers have spoiled.
One other clear indication that people tend to ignore and is very important is the popping of the lid at opening the jar.
Store caper lids pop when opened, and when you miss the popping, that indicates a damaged product.
Are There Dishes Associated With Salt-Cured Capers?
Capers have been used largely and are still used in various cuisines worldwide.
They are used in sauces, salad or salad dressing, fish or seafood cuisines, seasoning bread, chicken, or in different kinds of pizza.
The salt-cured Caper makes an excellent dressing for tuna salad with its added salt flavor.
These are some of the seasonings you might have seen in food and loved their salty, tangy flavor but have never bothered to know what they are. Now you know.
The French use this in most of their dishes as they also provide great health benefits.
Next time you want to add some salty vinegar taste to your dish’s intense flavor, think of non-pareil capers.
To be able to address your question once again, capers do go bad, and if for one reason you notice so. Do not consume them.
Throw them away immediately. You are better safe than sorry.
The edible buds are small in size, and one thing that stands out is that they are packed with great nutritional value for people of all ages.
They are known to be versatile and offer additional fiber options to consumers.
Caper buds are seasonal and not around throughout the year.
Picking occurs between May and September, making it imperative that they are stored properly for long periods.
Storage is indeed key here. Pickled capers are expensive; once you taste their salty nature, they will become part of your meals.
Capers are known to offer numerous possibilities in the kitchen.
Next time somebody asks you do capers go bad, ensure that you can give them the right answer.
Yes, they do when not stored properly, when container jars are left open, or when not dried properly.