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In Greek Aegean islands you can find capers in the most unexpected places: once hung like a chandelier in cliffs, sometimes peering through stone walls and rubble
In Cyclades you can find a lot of recipes based in caper. The caper is collected at various stages of its development. The most popular part of the plant are the buds, which must be collected before the blooming. Instead of what most people think, the capers are not the fruit but the bud.
Other parts of the plant which are collected are the leaves, stems and fruits (cucumbers) which are bitter. That’s why we use to put them in salty water. By this way capric acid is created, which gives the characteristic spicy flavor. In order to make the pickled capers, we store them in jars with sea salt or vinegar.
The plant propagation is not an easy method. The plant is «demanding» and tradition says that only ants can reproduce capers. By the saliva from the ants we get formic acid which is responsible for the capers reproduction. That’s why we meet capers in most unlikely places, while ants are carrying the fruit going in their nest.
For many years the capers gathered from plants that grew here and there. Many times attempted systematic cultivation, but with no good results. On our farm we already cultivate some caper plants and will soon evolve into high culture. The first attempt was in a village of Tinos, where it was cultivated 40 acres caper, about 19,000 plants in order to produce 114 tons of Tinos Caper, and the second is from the agronomist Philip Theocharis in Preveza, who cultivate caper in pots.