It is the climate of Salina and its rich, volcanic soil that make the flavour of these capers so special and the Slow Food movement have made them a presidium product to ensure the continued cultivation of these most precious flower buds in the face of competition from north African alternatives
After spending two months in salt the caper buds are ready. The smaller puntine capers are the most sought after. Their delicate flavour is distinctly more flowery and they are thus best suited to eating raw in salads and garnishes.
The large capers are perfect for cooking with and should be added liberally to all sorts of stuffings, pasta sauces, roasts, chopped into a vinaigrette or tonnato sauce.
They need to be soaked in water before use and the time in water needs to be precise; 2 hours is sufficient with the water changed 2-3 times. This will rid them of excess salt but not of their excellent taste.