Capparis spinosa L. - Capparaceae - caper, caper bush, Echter Kapernstrauch
Small perennial winter-deciduous shrub, native to the Mediterranean; rounded, fleshy leaves; nice large white to pinkish-white flowers.
The edible flower buds (capers), salted and pickled, are often used as a seasoning (one of the ingredients of tartar sauce, sauce gribiche, sauce ravigote) or garnish (Königsberger Klopse http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%B6nigsberger_Klopse).
„The salted and pickled caper bud (called simply a caper) is often used as a seasoning or garnish. Capers are a common ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, especially Cypriot, Italian, and Maltese.“
„Salted caper leaves in vinegar are used in salads of the greek isles Santorin und Rhodos.“
„In addition to sulphides, isothiocyanates and other flavour molecules, elemental sulphur (S8) was identified for the first time in a non-processed food. This paper presents the primary description of the aromatic bud which is widely consumed in Mediterranean countries. The organoleptic profiles of uncommon thiocyanates, nitriles and of the elemental sulphur are presented.“
[Brevard, H., Brambilla, M., Chaintreau, A., Marion, J.-P. and Diserens, H. (1992), Occurrence of elemental sulphur in capers (Capparis spinosa L.) and first investigation of the flavour profile. Flavour Fragr. J., 7: 313–321]
„…first investigation of the flavour profile of capers (Capparis spinosa L.) from the Eolian Archipelago. In all, 145 volatile compounds were identified and quantified in capers, by HS-SPME/GC–MS analysis. Aldehydes (22.2%) and esters (21%) were the most abundant chemical classes; five sesquiterpenes and ten monoterpenes were identified for the first time; among sulphur compounds (8.42%), methyl-isothiocyanate was the major one, followed by benzyl-isothiocyanate.“
[Flavour profile of capers (Capparis spinosa L.) from the Eolian Archipelago by HS-SPME/GC–MS. Vincenza Romeo, Marisa Ziino, Daniele Giuffrida, Cettina Condurso, Antonella Verzera, Food Chemistry, Volume 101, Issue 3, 2007, Pages 1272–1278]
Duhamel du Monceau, H.L., Traité des arbres et arbustes, Nouvelle édition [Nouveau Duhamel], vol.1: t.34 (1800-1803) [P.J. Redouté]