Last Updated on March 2, 2023 by Practical Cooks
Capers have been enjoyed on a plethora of dishes over the course of thousands of years. Many who have delighted in capers might think they are eating seeds or a type of fruit. However, capers are edible flower buds from the caper bush.
Eating capers adds a nice kick to any ingredient mix. The flavor is described as hints of lemon with a nod to green olives and more. Capers are a great way to make any plate pop.
So, once you bring some home, how long do capers last?
Although they do eventually go bad, it takes a long time. Once opened, brined capers stay good for about a year. Be sure to refrigerate the container. If unopened, a sealed container can keep capers ready to eat for up to three years.
Although believed to have originated in Asia, capers are often found in Mediterranean cuisine. That might be a factor as to why Mediterranean meals are considered healthy. Capers are superfoods and have a lot of nutritional value.
How do you know when capers have gone bad?
As good as this topping is, everything has a shelf life. There are a few ways you can quickly discern if the caper has fallen off the shelf of expectancy.
After opening a jar of capers, if you instantly get a waft of stench, it may be a sign of sour. If no odor jumps out at you, take a good look around the jar. Mold is another good indicator that too much time has passed.
If the capers have lost their color, it is most likely that they have gone bad. Last, but not least, if you bite into a caper and it tastes funny, throw them all out.
Another good tip is about the container. If there’s anything wrong, such as a leak or rust buildup, it would be best to play it safe and toss out the capers inside.
What is the date on the package of capers for?
Many are confused by the dates on products. It’s not uncommon for consumers to assume that the date listed means it’s the expiration date. On capers, what you’re probably seeing is actually the best to use by date.
All that means is the manufacturer believes that’s when the quality might start to decrease. They are still edible, the capers just might not be as fresh afterward.
Can you freeze capers?
Yes! Capers can last over a year if properly stored in the freezer.
Dry capers should be rinsed before freezing since they will not need salt to stay good. Capers kept in brine will need to be put in a new, freezer-safe container. This new resting place should be dry.
Before they are ready to go into the container, capers should be frozen individually. This can be achieved on a pan or any flat surface that can also fit in the freezer. Leave them overnight.
Now, the group can be placed in a container for safe keeping in the cold.
Do capers need to be rinsed before use?
It depends on the type of capers you have. If they were dry-packed, the capers will need to be thoroughly rinsed off. Dry-packing is done with large amounts of salt that would make eating the product tough.
If the capers have been hanging out in brine, there’s no need to run water over them but the cook is open to doing so.
Even if you prefer not rinsing, there are a few good reasons to do it at least sometimes. For one, it’s hard to imagine anyone feeling good about taking in all that salt. Sure, some are good, but it can be quite a salty punch to have more than a few this way.
A reduction in sodium is always a benefit, but the flavor is another. Letting capers soak for a few minutes and rinse gives them the opportunity to shine. Without all the vinegar, you can get a better taste of the actual capers.
Can you eat capers directly from a jar?
There’s no reason you can’t indulge a little and eat a spoonful of capers as soon as you open the container. They are healthy but be careful. While they are a great snack, capers are high in sodium.
Capers can also be applied to
any meal immediately. That means you can toss them in a salad, put them in a pan, or dress an entree with them. This flower bud adapts to a wide variety of flavors right from the jar.
If capers are pink, have they gone bad?
Most likely, what you’re seeing is the beginnings of a caperberry. This is what a caper would turn into if it wasn’t picked. The flowers on the capers are pink and white.
Since capers aren’t sweet, it might be hard to picture a fruit associated with the bush. To be fair, the berry isn’t exactly something you’d add to a pie. The taste is basically a caper with less intensity. The smell, though, can be quite overbearing.
What do you eat capers with?
The best way to incorporate this superfood into your diet is to think of food that is already considered healthy. Capers are commonly put on a wide variety of pasta but also protein like fish and chicken.
Capers go well with light ingredients such as citrus, tomato, eggplant, salad, and even bagels. Since they last for so long, this gives you a chance to really experiment. Finding ways to inject meals with a dose of healthy is always going to be a crowd pleaser.