Caper bushes have been growing around the Mediterranean basin since time immemorial.
On the island of Salina, they are a particularly integral part of the landscape, and until the arrival of tourism, capers and Malvasia wine were the driving force behind the local economy.
The capers are harvested throughout most of the summer. The pickers start early, around 5 am, to avoid the intense summer heat. The closed flower buds are laid out to dry on jute in a cool place, to stop them opening. After a few hours, the capers are separated from the “capperoni”, the largest buds on the verge of opening. They are then salted, and are ready to be consumed in a month.
Harvested from May to August, preserved capers available year-round.
Cultivation difficulties and the high production costs due to the labor used during harvesting have led to a crisis in caper production.
The capers are still picked by hand, a laborious procedure because of the bush’s shape. They are also suffering from ruthless international competition from small North African capers.
The Presidium capers must be at least 7 millimeters in diameter. “Cucunci”, the unripe fruits of the caper bush, are also consumed.
Gaetano Marchetta, Malfa (Me), Isola di Salina, Via Umberto I n. 7, Tel. +39 090 9844048 / +39 333 6576643, firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniela Virgona, Malfa (Me), Isola di Salina, Via Bandiera 2, Tel. +39 090 9844430 / +39 338 7455912, email@example.com
Roberto Rossello, Malfa (Me), Isola di Salina, Via Leni 20, Tel. +39 339 8176716, firstname.lastname@example.org