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CAPER ( caprier, kapper, cappero, alcaparra, kapertjes, kapersey, kapricserje, kapris, kappar, lussef, kabra, kobra, kabarra )

Capers - Capparis spinosa a member of the family Capparidaceae is thought to be a native plant of the Mediterranean basin stretching from the Canary Islands to the Black Sea to Armenia and to the Caspian Sea. The genus Capparis contains over 350 species. This plant has been used in both cooking and for medicinal purposes for 1,000s of years and has been written abouyt by the ancient Greeks (Dioscorides) and Romans (Pliny the Elder).

Capers are actually the immature flower buds that have been pickled. The tender young shoots are also eaten as a vegetable or cooked. The flavor of capers comes from mustard oil (methyl isothiocyanate).

Medicinally, capers have been proposed to be anti-rheumatic and to reduce flatulence. In ayurvedeic medicine capers were thought to improve liver function.

Most interesting, capers contain two of the most beneficial connexin enhancing molecules in the highest concentrations of any plant - Quercetin (180 mg/100g) and Kaempferol (135 mg/100g). These molecules and foods that contain them have been associated with reductions in disease, including cancer, for millennia.

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