Original article on Fine Dining for Lovers:
Italian capers were discovered over 1000 years ago sprouting from a Mediterranean plant on seven small islands off the northern coast of Sicily. Their unique taste and versatility make them a major player in the local cuisine: they enrich sauces, make meat and fish more interesting, and are excellent in salads and even gelato.
One of the seven islands called Salina (the second-largest in the archipelago) produces the finest capers. Salina capers have a compact bud and last longer, up to three years.
In Sicily capers are often rinsed and left to soak in water for a day. Some people blanch them in boiling water and others wash them in vinegar. They can be dressed with olive oil and diced celery and carrots; or with oil, garlic, oregano and mint leaves; or with oil, garlic, parsley, raisins and chili flakes.
One of the best ways to enjoy capers is in a sauce with garlic, oil and chili flakes, cherry tomatoes and served with al dente Cavatelli pasta.