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Preserving Culinary Delights: How Long Do Capers Last?

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Many people wonder what capers are. We see it in many dishes but often don’t know what it is. We may even consume it but not know that we did.

Capers are tiny, green flower buds. They elevate the taste of a dish. They’re sweet and also salty. Capers are a burst of flavour.

Capers come from the caper bush and are found worldwide. Not only are they delicious but these tiny, flower buds are also good for health.


They come with plenty of health benefits. They are rich in antioxidants. Capers help with strengthening bones. They also help with allergies.

Capers are mostly used in the mediterranean cuisine. The bitterness of these buds are mellowed by soaking them in brine.

This makes them very flavourful. If you wish to know more about capers- how long do capers last, when they get spoiled and more then keep reading.

How Long Do Capers Last? Do Capers Go Bad?

The answer to how long capers last depend mainly on its preparation and how it is stored. Most of the commercially sold capers also come with a best by date.

This will tell you how long they will last. But in case the best by label is missing, capers can last for a year if stored in a tight jar.

One of the reasons capers last quite long is because they are brined in vinegar. Capers naturally are very bitter. To bring out the flavour, they are pickled in vinegar.


Vinegar is known to be a great preserver. It prevents growth of bacteria and hence the shelf life of capers are long.

If you store your capers properly in a fridge, it can last for a year. Once opened, it is best to store them in a refrigerator.

This will extend its shelf life. Whereas, your unopened can of capers can last more than a year. But be sure to check for the expiration and best before dates.

People widely use capers to add bursts of flavour to their dish. Using capers in cooking is not new.

If you’ve used capers in your dish, it will last for as long as the quickest expiring item in the dish. So if you’re using a quick expiring ingredient, be sure to consume the dish at the earliest.

Despite being preserved in brine and having a long shelf life, capers do go bad. Every food item is bound to expire and get spoiled.

Although the process for capers to go bad is slow, these delicious flower buds eventually get unfit for use and have to be discarded.

It is unfortunate as avid food lovers that something as tasty as capers go bad. But if capers are not properly stored, they may spoil faster than their expected shelf life.

The jars or cans storing capers need to be airtight. The jars must also be leak proof to prevent the brine from leaking.

The brine along with salt is the main element preserving these tasty buds. So if those are compromised, then the capers will easily spoil.

How to Tell if Capers Are Bad? Capers Shelf Life!

It is very important to not consume spoiled food. They lead to many health complications.

To prevent intake of rotten food we must be able to spot it. Telling whether food in general has gone bad or not is quite easy. Anyone can do it if they know what to look for.

One way to tell if capers have gone bad is sight. Capers are mostly stored in jars and cans. If the top lid is not flat but rather domed, then the capers have gone bad.

This is probably because the lid was not sealed properly. Broken or damaged lid may also be the cause.


Capers are usually green and stored inside transparent jars. Another way to tell if they have gone bad is by the colour.

If your capers are brown or black, it is spoiled. Capers will start to darken with time. So try not to ingest brown or blackened capers as they are spoiled.

Other than sight, you can also tell if capers have gone bad by smell. Smell is a good hint to know the freshness.

If the jar of capers gives a foul odour, then they have gone spoiled. Do not consume them as they need to be replaced.

You can also check if there’s a popping sound when you open the container. If there is, the capers are still fresh.

But if there is no pop, the seal was broken and previously opened. It is best to avoid it if the seal has been damaged.


It cannot be denied that these unripened flower buds are packed with amazing flavors. Capers can be used to season and elevate many dishes.

Now that you know how long they last and how to tell if they’re spoiled, you can use them in your own recipes.

While the taste of capers is why they’re known profoundly, they also have positive health impacts.

Capers are a big source of antioxidants. They have been used to prevent many illnesses including cancer and heart problems.

Enjoy not only the taste but also stay healthy by consuming fresh capers.

How Long Do Capers Last? Do Capers Go Bad?

Recipe by Kimberly Baxter Course: Shelf Life


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  • Capers

  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags

  • Labels and markers


  • Read the guide thoroughly to learn how long it lasts.
  • Check the “Best-by-date” to know when it expires.
  • Make sure to store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place (pantry or fridge).
  • Always check for signs of spoilage before using.

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