I mentioned in my presentation that in Pantelleria (which is reputed to have some of the world’s best capers), they cure capers with sea salt only (using a specific sea salt from Sicily). In Pantelleria they don’t add water or vinegar (which some other curing methods call for). Here’s the salt-only curing method that I’m trying out right now. You need a kitchen scale to weigh the ingredients with. (Sorry, but I didn’t think to take note of the equivalents in volume; maybe next time.)
You can store these capers for I-don’t-know-how-long. At least a year by what I’ve read. They’re salt-cured (which is pretty similar to being dried), but they’ve also gone through lacto-fermentation, which is another food preservation method. Unless you don’t like capers at all, you’ll eat them or give them away as gifts before there’s any threat of spoilage.
You’ll need to soak these capers before using them (unlike the ones you buy in the store). But if you soak/rinse them long enough (maybe even overnight!) or if you add them to a dish *instead* of the salt that the dish calls for, you’ll notice distinctly earthy, floral flavors that aren’t like any other ingredient I’ve come across. Capers that are cured in salt *only* don’t have a vinegar-y bite that distracts from the flavor of the capers themselves. I’ve preserved them in a salty vinegar solution before, but I prefer this way because they taste better (to me). The only drawback is the time it takes to soak the extra salt back out of them.
I’m still experimenting with this. I put 3 salt-cured caper berries in water to soak, and I ate one after 45 minutes (way too salty!), then about 3 hours (still salty!), and the last one the next day (not salty). Do your own experients, and see what you think! Then let us know here in the WLA CRFG forum!