Salina Capers harvesting begins at the end of May and ends in late August. Salina island, set in the north of Sicilian coasts, has achieved the award of the Italian Quality Production Center.
The harvesting starts early in the morning, at 5 a.m., to avoid the strong solar radiations. Capers are unfolded and let dry on jute blankets, in a fresh and cold place, to avoid the blossom. After few hours, capers are selected on their size, usually the biggest are those that are going to blossom soon. The traditional salting process is done by spreading a layer of capers and a layer of coarse salt in cugnettu (small wood pot) or in tinedde (buckets) made of old wood barrels cut in half. During the next 4 – 5 days, capers have to get cleaned, they are poured from a tinedda to another in order to avoid that the combination of salt and sun starts fermentations, ruining all the harvest. After a month, capers are ready to be used. Salina Capers are characterized for their compactness, aroma and uniformity.
Since capers are full of salt, they can substitute coarse salt in sauce preparations, seasoning for meat and fish. Moreover, they are excellent to enrich Gazpacho, focaccias and pizza.
However, we highly recommend to wash them with cold water before use.