“The Wild Caper of Santorini”

Capparis Spinosa


“They are small shrubs native to the Mediterranean region and are known for their edible flower buds, which are harvested and pickled for culinary use.”

Santorini capers are a culinary delight renowned for their unique flavor and versatility. These capers are harvested from the caper bush (Capparis spinosa) native to the volcanic soil of Santorini.

They can be spotted on the steep Caldera slopes, on the island’s stone walls and traditional terraced gardens. They are hand-collected during the summer months from late June to late August.”

Due to the island's arid climate and mineral-rich terrain, Santorini capers develop a distinct taste characterized by a delicate tanginess and floral notes. They are commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine to add a burst of flavor to salads, pasta dishes, sauces, and seafood recipes.

What Caper Offers


The caper is a wild perennial shrub that sprouts in rocky terrain. It thrives in barren places, without water and soil. It produces one of the most beautiful flowers of the Greek nature with white petals and purple stamens. The caper is the bud or flower of the plant and is packaged in jars with sea salt.

Santorini Capers

Mutualistic Marvels

The Fascinating Seed Dispersal of Capparis Spinosa with Ants

Capparis spinosa, commonly known as the caper bush, has an interesting relationship with ants for propagation. The seeds of Capparis spinosa are dispersed by ants through a process called myrmecochory.

During myrmecochory, the seeds of the caper bush produce a lipid-rich appendage known as an elaiosome, which is attractive to ants. Ants are drawn to these elaiosomes, collect the seeds, and carry them back to their nests. They consume the elaiosomes but discard the seeds in their underground chambers, providing them with protection and a nutrient-rich environment for germination.

This mutualistic relationship benefits both the caper bush, as its seeds are dispersed to new locations for germination, and the ants, which gain a food source.

Our Products


Santorini capers are prized for their small size, vibrant green color, and intense flavor, making them a favorite ingredient among chefs and food enthusiasts worldwide.

At Nomikos Estate, we process the leaves and the buds. Sometimes, the buds are combined with the tender tips of the plant. The buds are collected just before they bloom. They are then dried with salt in the sun. An enzyme in the plant releases the characteristic mustard oil.

The harvesting of the leaves begins in April and can continue until the summer. It is important that the leaves are still tender when collected. They are briefly boiled in hot water to preserve them. Afterward, they are kept in brine with a little vinegar.