Caper season is in full swing on the tiny island of Pantelleria, in Sicilia. When it comes to the iconic Pantelleria caper plant, aka spinosa nocellara, we eat the flower bud, the leaf, and the fruit. Yes, all of that is fully edible and each part is harvested at peak of ripeness following the cycle of nature.
Those who harvest capers work exclusively by hand, enduring hot sun, sharp thorns, and rugged terrain throughout the Sicilian summer. The island is incredibly windy with scarce resources, but the caper plant flourishes in this environment.
THE CAPER PLANT
Capers: the flower buds! Harvested early when still small and delicate. Pantelleria capers have no equal, they’re Mediterranean flavor gems.
Caperberries: the fruit of the caper plant. With a more complex flavor, they’re lemony and aromatic with a crisp mouthfeel.
Caper Leaves: more of the caper plant to love. Firm but thin, with their gentle caper taste, they are the next level garnish for savory dishes, and they are great on their own too.
Pantelleria capers are unique. The spinosa nocellara variety is only found on the island of Pantelleria. This special cultivar thrives on the island’s volcanic soil, developing its strong fragrance also thanks to the extraordinary temperature fluctuation between hot days and cool nights typical of Pantelleria. These are the most aromatic capers you will ever taste!