Salt-packed capers from the island of Pantelleria are regarded world-wide as the very best. The island is part of Sicily but is way out in the Mediterranean Sea close to Tunisia.
These capers are farmed and conserved by the Kazzen family who use the exact methods used for thousands of years.
Capers are the bud of a flowering plant, capparis spinosa, which is picked before it opens into a flower. If the bud is allowed to flower and turn into fruit, it becomes the Caperberry.
The plants are very low growing, less than a meter high, with extremely deep root systems. Cultivation and harvesting are extremely labor-intensive. The caper buds must be picked by hand, and each plant must be visited up to twelve times.
After picking, the capers are covered with sea salt until it makes a brine. They are drained, and the process is repeated several times. This curing process extracts the bitterness and preserves the capers. After curing, they are mixed with at least 15% sea salt and packaged.
Sizing: The smaller the caper, the more delicate the flavor. The small capers are more expensive to harvest. Italian capers are graded into six sizes ranging from less than 7 mm to over 13 mm.
All of our Kazzen capers from Pantelleria are grown without any pesticides, and are handpicked and packed solely in sea salt.