Friday, June 10, 2016

Capers in Castiglion Florentino

Castiglion Florentino

Growing up in a Norwegian family, we love putting smoked salmon on our bagels. Of course, no salmon bagel is complete without capers. The pickled capers always pair well with salmon and other ingredients to create a perfect meal.

When exploring Castiglion Florentino, I came across some unusual plants between the rocky walls before entering the Santa Chiara Center. They were vine-like and had some flowers. When I went closer toward the plants, I saw capers growing wild from it. I had no idea capers grew this way. In class, our professor explained capers in class. Capers come from the family Capperaceae, which is the only plant in its family. Its origin is from the Mediterranean and usually grown wild; due to extreme heat of the Tuscan sun, the plants do very well in this climate, especially near the shores of the ocean. The small caper shrubs are grown organically and are resilient to pests. If the capers are not harvested, they create beautiful white flowers that grow on the plant, which typically have four pedals and sepals. However, there is no value to them other than they look pretty.

To eat the capers, the buds are unopened and can be salted or pickled (like what I put on my bagels). Overall, I think this is the most-interesting plant I have seen on the trip so far due to the fact that it grows on rocky walls and extremely dry heat.

Cassandra Stewart

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