Maurizia de Lorenzo, Salina. Capers and Sott'Olio
Pollara, Isola di Salina, Sicily.
Unlike North African capers, those from Salina are known for the unusually high number of petals with makes them particularly firm and meaty. Their complex, aromatic flavour is drawn from the island's rich, volcanic soil and for several decades capers have been grown as a crop instead of relying on the wild plant. They are harvested by hand, usually by the women of the local villages, who start picking at 4am to ensure that the capers don't open and to escape the heat. They are then dried in a cool place to prevent the buds from opening and sorted into two sizes; small puntine capers and large capperoni. After 2 months in salt the capers are ready to eat. Sapori Eoliani has been in the same family for 3 generations