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Thread: What are capers and are there any substitutes?

  1. #1
    JW Guest

    Default What are capers and are there any substitutes?

    I keep seeing capers in recipes and wondered about their flavour. Are
    they worth the effort to buy them? I have found that getting capers in
    our area is vertually impossible, so a substitute would be nice

  2. #2
    Sqwertz Guest

    Default Re: What are capers and are there any substitutes?

    JW <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I keep seeing capers in recipes and wondered about their flavour. Are
    > they worth the effort to buy them? I have found that getting capers in
    > our area is vertually impossible, so a substitute would be nice


    Use dill relish in the same amount. Not sweet relish.

    -sw

  3. #3
    Ed Pawlowski Guest

    Default Re: What are capers and are there any substitutes?


    "JW" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..
    >I keep seeing capers in recipes and wondered about their flavour. Are
    > they worth the effort to buy them? I have found that getting capers in
    > our area is vertually impossible, so a substitute would be nice


    Most any typical chain grocery store should have them, they are a fairly
    common item. Look near the olives. Kind of a salty taste, a bit on the
    sour side. In most recipes they are rather subtle.



  4. #4
    George Shirley Guest

    Default Re: What are capers and are there any substitutes?

    JW wrote:
    > I keep seeing capers in recipes and wondered about their flavour. Are
    > they worth the effort to buy them? I have found that getting capers in
    > our area is vertually impossible, so a substitute would be nice

    Here you go:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caper

    I've read where you can use the pickled buds of nasturtium flowers but
    I've never tried it. I buy jars of capers at the local Big Lots store on
    occasion, much cheaper that way.

  5. #5
    Pete C. Guest

    Default Re: What are capers and are there any substitutes?


    JW wrote:
    >
    > I keep seeing capers in recipes and wondered about their flavour. Are
    > they worth the effort to buy them? I have found that getting capers in
    > our area is vertually impossible, so a substitute would be nice


    I don't recall ever visiting a grocery store that did not carry at least
    one brand of capers, and most have several. What area are you in where
    you can't find them?

    As for substitutes, there really isn't a good substitute. You can sort
    of get similar flavor from pickled items, but virtually all caper
    containing dishes really rely on the appearance and individual flavor
    punch you get from capers which you won't really get with anything else.

  6. #6
    Dan Abel Guest

    Default Re: What are capers and are there any substitutes?

    In article <[email protected]>,
    JW <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I keep seeing capers in recipes and wondered about their flavour. Are
    > they worth the effort to buy them? I have found that getting capers in
    > our area is vertually impossible, so a substitute would be nice


    Here is what you are looking for:

    http://www.mezzetta.com/mm5/merchant...Code=mezzetta&
    Category_Code=imcapers

    I see them in every large supermarket and some small gourmet shops.
    Where do you live that they don't have them?

    The above site will mail them to you. I have no idea what shipping
    would cost, especially since I don't know where you live, but the site
    has a menu item for shipping, so perhaps that will help you. This is a
    quality company, located not far from me.

    --
    Dan Abel
    Petaluma, California USA
    [email protected]

  7. #7
    ChattyCathy Guest

    Default Re: What are capers and are there any substitutes?

    JW wrote:

    > I keep seeing capers in recipes and wondered about their flavour. Are
    > they worth the effort to buy them? I have found that getting capers in
    > our area is vertually impossible, so a substitute would be nice


    You might want to take a look at The Cook's Thesaurus site:

    http://www.foodsubs.com/Pickles.html

    <quote>
    capers Notes: Capers are pickled flower buds, and very salty. You
    can get them pickled in brine (top photo) or salted (bottom). Look for
    them in the pickle section of your grocery store, or in delis. The
    smallest ones are more expensive, and more highly esteemed. Rinse them
    before using. Substitutes: pickled nasturtium seeds or buds (slightly
    different taste) OR chopped green olives OR brine-cured green
    peppercorns OR chopped dill pickles OR pickled seabeans
    </quote>
    --
    Cheers
    Chatty Cathy

  8. #8
    Giusi Guest

    Default Re: What are capers and are there any substitutes?

    "JW" <[email protected]> ha scritto nel messaggio
    >I keep seeing capers in recipes and wondered about their flavour. Are
    > they worth the effort to buy them? I have found that getting capers in
    > our area is vertually impossible, so a substitute would be nice


    Nothing tastes like them, including things offered as substitutes. You
    usually don't use a lot in a recipe. I think you should try and see how you
    feel. My kid doesn't like them.



  9. #9
    bugbear Guest

    Default Re: What are capers and are there any substitutes?

    JW wrote:
    > I keep seeing capers in recipes and wondered about their flavour. Are
    > they worth the effort to buy them? I have found that getting capers in
    > our area is vertually impossible, so a substitute would be nice


    Where are you?

    BugBear

  10. #10
    ViLco Guest

    Default Re: What are capers and are there any substitutes?

    Giusi wrote:

    > Nothing tastes like them, including things offered as substitutes. You
    > usually don't use a lot in a recipe. I think you should try and
    > see how you feel. My kid doesn't like them.


    Me too disliked them, as a child, then started lovin'em: over pizza, in
    sauces for pasta and even in green salads. Not too long ago I had a capers +
    prosciutto cotto + maio sandwich.
    --
    Vilco
    Mai guardare Trailer park Boys senza
    qualcosa da bere a portata di mano



  11. #11
    Giusi Guest

    Default Re: What are capers and are there any substitutes?

    "ViLco"
    ha scritto nel messaggio
    > Giusi wrote:
    >
    >> Nothing tastes like them, including things offered as substitutes. You
    >> usually don't use a lot in a recipe. I think you should try and
    >> see how you feel. My kid doesn't like them.

    >
    > Me too disliked them, as a child, then started lovin'em: over pizza, in
    > sauces for pasta and even in green salads. Not too long ago I had a capers
    > + prosciutto cotto + maio sandwich.
    > --
    > Vilco


    One of my favorite salads is slivered Witloof chicory/Belgian endive/ white
    radicchio with a dressing made of minced capers, oil and black pepper.

    I am not so sure of your maio, Vilco. Your sandwich, however.



  12. #12
    Sheldon Guest

    Default Re: What are capers and are there any substitutes?

    "ViLco" <a...@b.invalid> wrote:
    >
    > Disliked them, as a child, then started lovin'em:
    > over pizza, in sauces for pasta and even in green
    > salads.


    Try smoking them.


  13. #13
    Jean B. Guest

    Default Re: What are capers and are there any substitutes?

    Sqwertz wrote:
    > JW <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> I keep seeing capers in recipes and wondered about their flavour. Are
    >> they worth the effort to buy them? I have found that getting capers in
    >> our area is vertually impossible, so a substitute would be nice

    >
    > Use dill relish in the same amount. Not sweet relish.
    >
    > -sw


    Or an equal amount of chopped dill pickle.

    --
    Jean B.

  14. #14
    jmcquown Guest

    Default Re: What are capers and are there any substitutes?

    Ed Pawlowski wrote:
    > "JW" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]..
    >> I keep seeing capers in recipes and wondered about their flavour. Are
    >> they worth the effort to buy them? I have found that getting capers
    >> in our area is vertually impossible, so a substitute would be nice

    >
    > Most any typical chain grocery store should have them, they are a
    > fairly common item. Look near the olives. Kind of a salty taste, a
    > bit on the sour side. In most recipes they are rather subtle.



    Sole, veal and chicken piccata often call for capers in the lemon/wine sauce
    spooned over the dish.

    Jill


  15. #15
    Goomba Guest

    Default Re: What are capers and are there any substitutes?

    jmcquown wrote:

    >
    > Sole, veal and chicken piccata often call for capers in the lemon/wine
    > sauce spooned over the dish.
    >
    > Jill


    Would it even *be* a piccata without capers?! I don't think so!
    Good stuff

  16. #16
    Jean B. Guest

    Default Re: What are capers and are there any substitutes?

    jmcquown wrote:
    > Ed Pawlowski wrote:
    >> "JW" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> news:[email protected]..
    >>> I keep seeing capers in recipes and wondered about their flavour. Are
    >>> they worth the effort to buy them? I have found that getting capers
    >>> in our area is vertually impossible, so a substitute would be nice

    >>
    >> Most any typical chain grocery store should have them, they are a
    >> fairly common item. Look near the olives. Kind of a salty taste, a
    >> bit on the sour side. In most recipes they are rather subtle.

    >
    >
    > Sole, veal and chicken piccata often call for capers in the lemon/wine
    > sauce spooned over the dish.
    >
    > Jill


    Hmm. Thinking of such things, I see that my chopped dill pickles
    wouldn't suffice.

    --
    Jean B.

  17. #17
    jmcquown Guest

    Default Re: What are capers and are there any substitutes?

    Goomba wrote:
    > jmcquown wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> Sole, veal and chicken piccata often call for capers in the
    >> lemon/wine sauce spooned over the dish.
    >>
    >> Jill

    >
    > Would it even *be* a piccata without capers?! I don't think so!
    > Good stuff



    Right! I can't think of any substitutes for the capers, can you?

    Jill

  18. #18
    kilikini Guest

    Default Re: What are capers and are there any substitutes?

    jmcquown wrote:
    > Goomba wrote:
    >> jmcquown wrote:
    >>
    >>>
    >>> Sole, veal and chicken piccata often call for capers in the
    >>> lemon/wine sauce spooned over the dish.
    >>>
    >>> Jill

    >>
    >> Would it even *be* a piccata without capers?! I don't think so!
    >> Good stuff

    >
    >
    > Right! I can't think of any substitutes for the capers, can you?
    >
    > Jill


    I've read this thread and have been thinking green or kalmata olives the
    whole time. Um, not with fish. Good point.

    kili



  19. #19
    Michael \Dog3\ Guest

    Default Re: What are capers and are there any substitutes?

    JW <[email protected]> news:[email protected]: in
    rec.food.cooking

    > I keep seeing capers in recipes and wondered about their flavour. Are
    > they worth the effort to buy them? I have found that getting capers in
    > our area is vertually impossible, so a substitute would be nice


    Sqwertz suggested dill relish. While I've never had to substitue, this
    sounds reasonable. I also Googled "capers substitute" (without quotes) and
    the first page was full of links so you might give it a try. I love capers
    and use them a lot. I consider them a must have staple in my pantry. You
    can use them in a home made tartar sauce, pasta/dipping sauces with
    tomatoes, herbs, black olives, garlic and a smidge of lemon is another
    possibility. I use them in so many things I can't list them all here.

    I don't know where you are located but if you are an experienced gardener,
    you can buy caper seeds here
    http://www.sandmountainherbs.com/caper_bush.html and grow your own.

    Also, http://www.markys.com will sell them mail order off their online
    site. IIRC they sell Sicilian and Moroccan capers. Good stuff.

    Michael



    --
    Find me at: - michael at lonergan dot us dot com

  20. #20
    jmcquown Guest

    Default Re: What are capers and are there any substitutes?

    Jean B. wrote:
    > jmcquown wrote:
    >> Ed Pawlowski wrote:
    >>> "JW" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >>> news:[email protected]..
    >>>> I keep seeing capers in recipes and wondered about their flavour.
    >>>> Are they worth the effort to buy them? I have found that getting
    >>>> capers in our area is vertually impossible, so a substitute would
    >>>> be nice
    >>>
    >>> Most any typical chain grocery store should have them, they are a
    >>> fairly common item. Look near the olives. Kind of a salty taste, a
    >>> bit on the sour side. In most recipes they are rather subtle.

    >>
    >>
    >> Sole, veal and chicken piccata often call for capers in the
    >> lemon/wine sauce spooned over the dish.
    >>
    >> Jill

    >
    > Hmm. Thinking of such things, I see that my chopped dill pickles
    > wouldn't suffice.



    Salty, sure! But as a substitute? Probably not There's really no
    substitute for caper berries. However, I can't honestly think of any other
    dishes that call for capers.

    Jill


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