An endemic species to Morocco, the caper flower adapts well to semi-arid climates and can grow in any type of soil. Capers are flower buds that have not yet bloomed. The caper bush grows in Morocco either spontaneously (14,000 ha) or it is industrially cultivated (about 20,000 ha). The main regions of agricultural production are Fez, Taounate, Marrakesh, and Safi. The total volume of production varies between 20,000 and 28,000 tonnes depending on the year. Capers are harvested solely by hand and require great finesse due to the flower’s fragility. They are also perishable and are preserved in brine after 24 hours following the harvest.
The harvest of capers is done exclusively by hand from June to October/November. It is picked at different stages of fruit ripening: The smallest ones (5 to 7 mm) are the most valued due to their delicate flavour and strong aroma. They represent the best market value. Capers have been used since ancient times in Greek and Roman cuisines. They are usually used as condiments preserved in vinegar, but can also be preserved in salt or brine.