Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Capers Caper

I know this picture isn't the greatest but the jar is already in the trash at the curb so I can't redo it.

Caper - 1. A playful leap or hop. 2. A frivolous escapade or prank.

Caper - The pungent grayish green flower bud of the European and Oriental caper, much used for pickles.

Today was the first time I ever tasted capers. It was also the last time.

When I saw the capers on the store shelf I think I was mixing them up in my mind with anchovies (which I've never tried before)...and was expecting them to be a bit fishy.

I was NOT prepared for the taste. It was NASTY! NASTY! NASTY! It definitely is the worst thing I have ever tasted.

It tasted like nail polish remover. I have never actually drunk nail polish remover - but the capers taste just what I expect the nail polish remover to taste like. It even smelled like nail polish remover.

I had wondered if someone had pulled a caper with my capers. You know some "bad guy" adding nail polish remover to capers in order to extract millions of dollars from the the producer. :) I just couldn't imagine that this is how they were supposed to taste.

When I read about capers, the taste was described as "pungent" or "an acquired taste".

Even though the kids did not like the capers, they were not as vehement in their dislike as I was. They thought it was "salty, vinegary, peppery". Which are all good things generally.

I got to thinking afterwards, that I should not have made such a big deal about how horrible these tasted, in front of the children. I want them to keep their taste options open and don't want them to hear "NASTY! NASTY! NASTY!" whenever they see capers in the future.

The jar of capers cost about $2.50.


Mrs. Mordecai said...

I tried capers for the first time a few months ago in this recipe. I actually really enjoyed the recipe, although I don't think I'd like eating capers alone. They're pretty strong. The recipe is amazing, though. I didn't notice any nail polish remover taste, by the way

Lynda said...

Oh what a dreadful introduction to capers you had... they are lovely in a light white sauce over sliced cold ham (we do this over Xmas) or over little pan fried Salmon fillet. I don't think I have ever tried one right from the jar - usually I chop them quite fine before adding and the size of the jar is an indicator that with these little things - less is more. They are also good added to a tangy mayonaise. Perhaps if you can ever be persuaded to try them again you should go for the little tiny ones that come packed in salt - just rinse off the salt first... they are nicer than the ones in brine.

MondaythroughSunday said...

I have seen so many recipes for capers...maybe they taste better in something.

Edi said...

Perhaps it would taste ok in a recipe ...maybe the same way as a bay leaf would not taste great just chewing on it for a few minutes...or any other kind of spice or flavoring isn't very nice straight.

But I'm kind of gun shy now - and I already threw away the rest of the capers... It seemed like I kept smelling the horrible smell all day.

Gato Azul said...

Thanks Edi for visiting. Yes, the avocado smooths up the ice cream... As for capers, they taste better if they are rinsed off and there are various qualities and grades of capers. The best are quite big really (Italian) and their taste is much more salty than vinegary... they are an absolute must with smoked salmon, cream cheese, bagel, onion and lemon juice lunches. I do hope you'll try them again (if you find some Italian ones, go for them)

My Ice Cream Diary said...

Oh no! I agree whole heartedly with Gato Azul on this one. They are fantastic on a bagel with lox and cream cheese! I've also had them in buttery chicken dishes and creamy pasta dishes. I suggest you try another brand, rinse them off a bit, and toss them into any recipe that could use a few little salty buds to liven it up. A little goes a long way (you don't want one in every bite you take).

Anonymous said...

I absolutely loved capers. I first tried them when I was eating out with a friend. I think they had been pickled in vinegar. They made my blood rush it was almost aphrodisiacy...Today I got them from the local supermarket and I had them along with my rice and curry..Cant have enough of them!!!!!!!!!!!

Attic Clutter said...

I opened a jar of capers today and the smell of nail polish remover was strong!
they taste ok..but I think I will try suggested in an above comment..the tiny ones in a salt brine..