Wild caper in vinegar from Santorini island 600gr.

WILD-CAPER-600GR

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This wild caper from Santorini is a small unyielding plant which against all environmental odds grows on rocky land next to the sea. Greece, thanks to its sunny summers and the quality of its soil it is the ideal place for the plant to grow. With its unique aroma and picantic taste it goes well with a Greek salad and with sophisticated dishes in expensive gourmet restaurants.

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What is wild caper.

The Greek wild caper is almost unique in its kind. It is self-sown, while other caper varieties, which grow in other regions of Mediterranean such as southern France, Spain and Turkey, are products of farming. Between the end of spring and beginning of summer the caper makes its appearance on the Greek islands. It is mostly found on the dry Cyclades where one can see it mushrooming in abundance among the rocks.
It is a thorny bush paved cyclically on the earth with hooked thorns, round leaves and fruit which resembles the olive.
The little buds of the plant are collected in the early hours of the day in order for the little leaves of the bud to remain closed.
After harvesting, the buds are washed and dried in the sun for a few hours before they are placed in vases where they are covered with salt vinegar and olive oil. The picantic taste of the caper is due to the mustard oil which exists in the tissues of the plant. The pleasant bitter taste of caper is born only after the caper becomes pickled due to the combination of brine and caper which forms capric acid.

The history of the caper.

The name caper in many European languages is derived from the classic Latin word “capparis” which in turn is derived from the same Greek word.The collection and use of caper as an appetizer is a very old habit in this part of Mediterranean.
It is said that before her relationship with Praxiteles the courtesan Fryni famed for her beauty made her living by collecting and selling capers in the market of Athens. The love of the Athenians for caper was such that even Zinon, the founder of the Stoic School took an oath in its name.
In ancient Greece the caper was use as a diuretic as well as treatment of sciatica, nervous problems and other diseases.
Hippocrates considered the caper as an expectorant and was also used it against pleurisy. Galinos in his work “About food strength” makes extended reference to caper and its nutritional value and describes the elaboration that makes it edible.
In classical Athens caper was the food of the poor and there are references about its collection and its preservation in brine.
Burned seeds of caper and even more rarely caper buds have been discovered among archeological findings.

What does wild caper offer to our health.

Wild caper contains very few calories (23Kcal/100g.) and is very rich in phytochemicals, antioxidants and vitamins all of which are beneficial to health.

We present you three reasons to include wild caper in your diet.

  1. Is very rich in antioxidants. Wild Caper is one of the plants with the highest concentration in phytochemicals rutin and quercetin. The leaves of caper contain 180mg quercetin per 100g. Both the rutein and the quercetin are very antioxidant substances. Researches have proved that quercetin has antibacterial analgetic and anti-inflammatory properties which probably contribute to the prevention of certain types of cancer.

  2. Lowers LDL cholesterol. The buds of the caper contain a considerable level of niacin which lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol.

  3. Helps the circulatory system. The rutin which exists in the caper strengthens the capillaries and helps blood circulation to the micro vessels. Rutin has also helped in the therapy if hemorrhoids, phlebitis and hemophilia.

Warning!
In pregnancies the consumption of caper should be limited as it has been reported that it was traditionally used for contractions. Also patients undergoing surgery would be better to refrain from caper consumption as it had been traditionally used as natural anticoagulant and could therefore cause bleeding.
Always be advised by your nutritionist for the quantities you include in your diet.

Ideas to enjoy wild caper from Santorini island.

  • As a seasoning in cooking for a particular taste especially in vegetables, meat and fish.

  • In green salads.

  • As an appetizer with ouzo, raki or tsipouro.

  • Inside dressings for a more picantic and particular taste.

  • To flavor olive oil and vinegar.

  • Inside pasta with olives

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