The capers are not really the fruit of the plant, but the unclosed flower buds.
Hand-picked and preserved in salt, before being used they need to be soaked in water for a while to lose their saltiness and restore their taste and aroma. Two types of caper are grown on Salina, nocellaro and nocella, which remain quite crisp after salting (with sea salt).
The fruits of the caper plant – the so-called caperberries – also add taste to a meal. These are eaten like small cucumbers or pickled gherkins. They’re often served as a hors-d’oeuvres on the Aeolian Isles.