What Do Capers Taste Like? The Secret Flavor of the Mediterranean!

Capers play an important role in many classic recipes, and people often describe its flavor as salty and lemony.

This plant has been widely used in cooking for several centuries, and it is believed to originate from the Mediterranean as well as certain parts of Asia. Therefore, until now, there have been those who wonder what do capers taste like.

What Do You Know About Capers?

If you think that Capers are a new name on the culinary market, this article will change your mind. The uses capers can be traced back to ancient times.

Caper plants can be found most in the Mediterranean region. After harvesting caper buds by hand, people will dry them. Next, they will be packed or brined in salt.

Because this is a hard and long process, the price of capers is not low. It explains the reason why a lot of people do not know what do capers taste like.

What Do Capers Taste Like?

Caper (Photo credit: -Merce- via foter.com)

Capers now have become available in most parts of the world, thanks to the improved transportation and globalization. However, due to the geographical differences, people in some parts are still clueless about what do capers taste like.

Their flavor can be characterized as salty, piquant sour and a little olive. Because of these mixed tastes, capers usually appear in a variety of dishes as an additional spice.

You can notice that they are widely used in Italian cuisine. Capers add a unique flavor to some recipes, such as chicken piccata or pasta puttanesca.

There are various ways to use capers. In most cases, I witnessed that people usually sprinkle them on smoked salmons or mix them with salads.

Throughout time, more and more recipes with capers are invented thanks to their versatile applications.

In fact, the market is flooded with many types of capers and their flavor changes according to the cooking or curing methods. For example, it is claimed that pickled capers and cucumber pickle share the same flavor.

Nevertheless, pickled capers might taste a little more piquant, sharper and tangier. You might even sense the sourness at first.

Before being cooked, fresh capers do not provide any exception taste. Only after people dry or brine them with other ingredients, including salt, olive oil, and vinegar is their sharpness enhanced significantly.

As a result, capers bring a unique flavor which amazes anyone and makes it impossible for them to forget. You might be reluctant to consume capers at first, but they deserve a try.

Photo credit: bptakoma via foter.com

Also, when studying the nutritional values of capers, scientists have found an excellent number of antioxidants and bioflavonoids.

These nutrients are proved to be beneficial for human health. More importantly, they are essential to the prevention of cancer and many other health problems.

So, there is no need to hesitate to try capers in your meals. This amazing Mediterranean vegetable will boost your joy in cuisine.

Besides, you had better use water to wash capers first. This aims to remove excess salt before you use them in salads or other ingredients.

Another suggestion is that adding capers into the dishes usually happen at last. Otherwise, the flavor (and also shape) of capers might be lost during the long cooking process.

Alternatives to Capers

You need to accept that truth that you probably cannot get capers in your place. Or sometimes, the supermarkets are short of them when you need them most.

Unfortunately, as it might be, you still have to find something to replace capers in your recipes. You do not have to worry! Some ingredients can make a great replacement.

Green Olives

Photo Credit: Noirathsi’s Eye via foter.com

One of the best ingredients that give you the most similar taste as capers is green olive. The only problem you might get is its size.

Normally, you might have to cut olives into two halves to achieve the same size as capers. It means that when you need four capers, two green olives will be sufficient, for example.

These two ingredients are known to have equally pungent flavor. So you can be relieved that it is a great substitute.


Thyme is a traditional herb regularly used in cooking and curing diseases. But not many people know that this herb can be a great substitute for capers.

Its flavor is considered as strong as that of capers, and the taste is gradually absorbed into the dishes.

The only difference is that you are recommended to put thyme very early in the cooking process. This helps its flavor mixed better.


Overall, capers bring a special flavor to every dish they take part in. Furthermore, they are such a versatile ingredient. And they work very well with fish.

If you are also a big fan of capers, share this article to let more and more people know about this ingredient.


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