Visiting La Nicchia Pantelleria

Gustiamo brings you the best foods from the hardest to reach places in Italy. Pantelleria, might be the hardest to reach of them all! Sure, it is only a 35 minute flight from Palermo, but to actually have a plane LAND there is another story.

Pantelleria is one of the windiest places in Italy. In fact, just about the only things growing in Pantelleria are capers and Zibibbo grapes. But what Pantelleria lacks in quantity it makes up in quality because its Zibibbo and capers are the BEST in the world.

pantelleria sicily capers
One of the typical giardini in Pantelleria surrounded by caper plants. Some of these stone structures can be traced back to ancient times, built to protect from the crazy wind!.

Team Gustiamo made the trip to Pantelleria to visit Gabriele Lasagni and La Nicchia. Did you watch our 24 hours in Pantelleria Instagram Story?

pantelleria sicily capers
An order of Capers, Caperberries, and Caper Leaves, prepped and ready for passage to the Bronx for Gustiamo.

It was caper season when we arrived and stepping into the caper fields in Pantelleria had an otherworldly feeling. The landscape, characterized by red-ish soil and bright green caper plants, is stunning. Harvesting capers is hard work. It is done completely by hand and is quite arduous.

pantelleria sicily capers
Capers in Pantelleria ready to be picked.

Capers from Pantelleria are known for their excellent taste and their superior texture. One excellent Pantelleria Caper packs a punch of Mediterranean salinity and because they are always preserved in the finest sea salt, they are crisp with a bite. These capers are never mushy or soggy.

pantelleria sicily capers
Capers are flower buds! When capers are left on their vines, un-picked, they bloom into caper flowers.

The caper plant is a notoriously difficult plant to cultivate and we left Pantelleria with an even deep appreciation for La Nicchia then we came with.

What a privilege it is to have these capers in our pantries in the USA!