Capers are the unripened flower buds of Capparis spinosa, a prickly, perennial plant which is native to the Mediterranean and some parts of Asia. After the buds are harvested, they are dried in the sun, then pickled in vinegar, brine, wine or salt. The curing brings out their tangy lemony flavor, much the same as green olives.
The small, green herb buds lend a piquant sour and salty flavor to salads, dressings, sauces, vegetables and a variety of main dishes. Capers became favorite additions to fish sauces and marinades, along with brined and dried anchovies