100gm Donnafugata Capperi al Sale Marino (capers with sea salt)


Producer: Donnafugata

Region: Sicily (Pantelleria), Italy


Out of stock



From the island’s volcanic land, a small cultivation of quality fruit grown by ‘heroic’ farmers. With their fragrance, flavour and meatiness, capers are a genuine speciality that takes Mediterranean cuisine to the next level.

PRODUCTION AREA Western Sicily, island of Pantelleria: contrade of Barone, Khamma and Punta Karace. A small caper farm is also visible along the Cammino di Khamma (Kham- ma Trail), close to the Donnafugata winery, an engaging walk perfect for discovering the island’s biodiversity.

LAND AND CLIMATE Altitude between 100 and 400 m above sea level; Orography: complex, typically volcanic, characterised by terracing. Soil: sandy of volcanic origin; deep and fertile, rich in minerals. Climate: windy with mild and fairly dry winters, dry and breezy summers.

CAPER CULTIVATION Capers are one of the most traditional products of Pantelleria, embodying the island’s ‘heroic’ agriculture together with the cultivation of vines and olive trees. The land of the caper farms is skilfully worked and the heavy pruning back of the bushes, in the winter, facilitates production between late spring and the summer. The caper is a typical Mediterranean shrub: the cultivated plant is shaped like a small sapling, 30-50 cm high, with the trunk sunk into special holes dug in the ground which capture the dew and make use of the very scarce rainfall. The trunk is woody while the upper parts are herbaceous with branches that hang down from the trunk and brush the ground.

Its leaves are dark green, fleshy and oval. Caper flowers are very beautiful: white with numerous purple stamens, but few are seen on the caper farms because it is the unopened flower bud that is picked.

HARVEST Harvesting is done by hand and in stages, between May and September. The farmers return to the same plant every 8-10 days, depending on the weather conditions and the germinating process. The capers are picked in the early hours of the morning, before the buds can open: a painstaking and very laborious process because it requires farmers to kneel or bend over almost down to the ground as the branches brush the soil.

MATURING AND PRESERVATION Lots of sea salt is added to the freshly picked capers and they are then left to mature for about 10-12 days. The plant water is then removed and more sea salt added for their final preservation. Finally, the smallest ones (size 7) are selected and packaged.

IN THE KITCHEN Valuable ingredient for adding flavour to salads and side dishes but also first and second courses. Component of the Pantelleria salad, together with boiled potatoes, tomatoes, onions, olives and oregano. Key ingredient in numerous dishes, from Sicilian caponata to vitello tonnato. Capers can be rinsed in water to remove the salt before using.


Additional information

Sensory Qualities

The volcanic nature of the soil and the climate on the island, together with the expert maturing process, give the capers their typical aroma, flavour, fragrance and plump texture. They are distinctive for their savouriness and strong herbaceous notes.