These are the flowering buds of the Mediterranean caper bush, and are used to flavour sauces with their salty/sour taste. The buds are picked and preserved in salt or olive oil, or pickled in vinegar.
All year round.
Most capers are the size of a small pea. Larger, sweeter caperberries are also available. The smallest capers, known as nonpareille, are the size of peppercorns.
Rinse well and pat dry. You can use them to make tapenade – a blend of capers, olives and anchovies – to serve on toast, or add to pasta sauces with sardines. A chilli, caper and lemon mariande served with tuna is a classic use of this ingredient. Caper sauce is also traditionally served with mutton.