further adventures in foraging…

Up in the Piazzo district of Biella, on a very sunny south facing wall is an abundantly flowering caper bush.

Having spent some days this spring foraging in the Roman countryside with a friend who is an expert in such matters (see here and here), and having tried to forage on my own in Edinburgh, this time i felt brave enough to harvest some of the fruits and try to preserve them. As ever it’s a work in progress…

So anyway, you can glean 2 kinds of product from this plant firstly the caper itself,

which is the bud of the plant containing the flowers, and secondly the elongated caper berry which is the seed pod the flower produces after the flower withers and dies  (i identified the plant, but then double checked with some local people to certify that they were in fact edible caper berries and were not going to kill me!!).

They don’t taste good at this stage, you need to dehydrate them in the sun or cure them and it is during this process that a kind of  mustard oil is created that gives them the flavour we recognise. SO, i have gathered, washed and dried them,

I packed them them in sea salt for a few days, a lot of liquid seeped out from the fruits so the salt became wet and soggy, so i got rid of the soggy salt and repacked the berries with a fresh lot.

Now its just a matter of waiting…They should keep for six months or more…but i will let you know how i get on…watch this space…

If it works out, this is pretty cheap as a process, the berries were free, and i spent 11 cents on a kilo of sea salt in the local supermarket…not bad…

other foody posts on this blog:

chocolate con churros

pani puri sunday

cicchetti tea-break


revelations in a milanese restaurant

braid burn

cooking the haul



more foodie questions

foodie questions

nose to tail,

(s)light relief,

pulpo a la gallega

the matanza

morcilla and dying arts

jamòn serrano

8 responses to “further adventures in foraging…

  1. Capers grow wild on walls in our village of Bagni di Lucca as well. Unfortunately, I am never there in summer. Thanks for the tips anyway. Perhaps one day I will be there at the right time.

  2. yay!
    this looks fantastic! oh i so envy you having capers bushes growing in the hood!
    here is totally winter, cold rain and enclosed plans for the coming better months..
    well done Marga, i love foraging stories!

  3. fantastic. do you think a caper bush would survive at hermitage of braid?

    • Capers in scotland? global warming gone crazy???…alas this bush grows on one of the the sunniest spots in biella, think we will just have to wait for wild garlic season to come round again for the braid burn!

  4. could always try indoor growing..hmm!

  5. Pingback: cooking the haul… | mvp – work in progress

  6. Pingback: braid burn… | mvp – work in progress

  7. Pingback: empanada… | mvp – work in progress

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