Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Weekly Caper Update
The capers on the left were picked this morning. In the center row are the capers I picked a week ago. Those have been sitting in a brine solution in the refrigerator. The capers on the right are the ones picked two weeks ago. Those were dried in their brine solution, which took a day and a half (one day was foggy half the time) and then a day sitting on the kitchen counter. The first batch are stored in the salt from the brine solution that crystalized during the drying process. I may store the next batch in fresh coarse sea salt.
The Tuscan plants tend to have a reddish color to their leaves and buds which you can see in the fresh and brined capers in the second row back.
The pickling process, I think it is actually a kind of fermentation, is slower at cold temperatures. The first batch developed more rutin crystals in a week of brining which is probably because it had a day at room temperature. I'm going to keep batch #2 in the refrigerator another week. Batch #3 is going to sit in a brine solution at 55F for it's first week.
The dried buds were a bit sharp tasting immediately after drying, but seem to have mellowed a bit after sitting in a sealed jar at room temperature for a week.
So far it has taken three weeks to pick about 3 1/2 ounces of fresh capers.