Today, we are talking about one of the most famous products of the Sicilian gastronomic tradition: the capers of Pantelleria. Thanks to its unmistakable flavor and its versatility in the kitchen, can riveOggi, we tell you about one of the most famous products of the Sicilian culinary tradition: the capers of Pantelleria. Thanks to its unmistakable taste and its versatility in the kitchen, it can prove to be a plus for the dishes of your restaurant.
Capers are a widely used ingredient in our cuisine. From appetizers to first courses, passing through main courses and side dishes (apart from dessert), there are many recipes that require the use of this particular flower. And it is precisely for this reason that you should focus on the best product available in the square. Because if there is a caper that surpasses any direct rival in terms of taste, that is the caper of Pantelleria. Son of a centuries-old tradition, there is not a single gorge in the island of Pantelleria that is not “exploited” by its inhabitants, to plant a caper plant – which among other things, thanks to the volcanic soil, grows spontaneously. This is not the case with regard to harvesting and, a detail that gives the caper its uniqueness, for processing under salt. The salting process, in fact, is part of a tradition handed down for centuries and that only a Pantelleria can do properly. A sort of imprinting that has contributed to making the caper of Pantelleria an excellence recognized throughout the world. The same excellence, you can transfer it to your dishes, taking advantage of the unique aromas and quality of this product IGP. Think about it: isn’t it by differentiating yourself on the choice of raw materials that you can surpass the competition? That said, how is it possible to recognize the caper of Pantelleria? And what is the reason that makes it so good?
Identikit of the Pantelleria capers
If you were to find in front of your eyes a common caper and one from Pantelleria, we are (almost) sure that – without tasting them – you would not be able to find any difference. And like you, the vast majority of us. To the naked eye, in fact, the caper of Pantelleria does not show any distinctive signs. Knowing the supply chain of origin, therefore, becomes essential to avoid the risk of buying a different product. Just as it is appropriate to rely on the label of the product. The packaging, usually made of glass or plastic, must bear the indication ‘Capperi di Pantelleria’, followed by the words ‘Indicazione Geografica Protetta (IGP)’ (Protected Geographical Indication), the Community symbol and the logo of the designation. As regards flavour, however, Pantesco capers are distinguished from others by the intensity of their scents and by their distinctive, characteristic taste. On the other hand, if for Europe it is a food product that must be protected, there must be a reason. But it is the harvest and the ripening phase that makes this product so unique. And that is exactly what we are about to tell you in the next paragraph.
Capers of Pantelleria: from harvesting to maturation
Caper harvesting is a step-by-step harvest, which takes place by hand, usually in hilly and stony soils. It does not require great manual skill, but is very careful not to break the tip of the branch. It is precisely this, in fact, that allows the production of other capers. The branches of the capers, from May to September, get longer every day, giving life, as they grow, to buds that are usually collected before becoming flowers. These buds (which are then the part that we consume) must be harvested every 8 days. If not harvested, in fact, they continue to be fed by the plant, and are transformed into flowers that take the name of puff pastry and give life to the famous cucunci – real fruits that serve to ensure the survival of the species, thanks to the seed they carry with them.
Maturation: a long and meticulous process
Since both the capers and the freshly harvested kernels are too bitter and spicy to eat, they must undergo a process of maturation or salting. The first step is to immerse the capers in containers, which contain 40% of the sea salt. Ten days later, the salting process continues at a rate of 20%. The second salting, which starts a malolactic fermentation, must also last 10 days. Only at the end of this period, in fact, can the capers be considered ripe and edible. Ready to reach the farms, in order to be used and packaged.
A versatile flower in the kitchen
We saw how to recognize the real caper of Pantelleria. We flew with our imagination, among the impervious hills of Pantelleria, in search of the caper trees. And we tasted a touch of tradition, thanks to the centuries-old technique of salting. All this, we decided to tell you about it to give you the material to sell to your customers. Demonstrating yourself as an authoritative figure with respect to an agricultural and food product, over time, helps to create relevance around your figure (and that of your restaurant). The same relevance that the caper has towards the kitchen – which is also what (perhaps) interests you most. Capers, in fact, are one of the most used ingredients of traditional Italian cuisine. From pasta sauces to meat, passing through fish and side dishes, there is no mention of the combinations that see this flower as a co-protagonist of taste, absolute. If you want to give a hint of Siciliani to your restaurant, however, you can not help but propose an authentic Sicilian caponata. Or, to respect even more the Pantelleria caper, the famous Pantelleria pesto: a mix of basil, parsley, oregano, almonds and capers, combined with a sauce of peeled tomatoes. An explosion of taste, for a fast and delicious first course. Of course, to make your recipes perfect (and 100% Sicilian), you must use the caper of Pantelleria. Conversely, the overall flavor of the dish will lose much of its appeal. But even for this, there’s us at Multicash. In our stores, you can find the best raw materials, at the right price.