28

A while ago, I ate a charcuterie board that had, among other things, a strange pickled vegetable that I had never seen before and have not heard of since.

I say vegetable but it was probably a fruit.

  • It was green and round, only a bit larger than a nickel.
  • The pickle came with a thin hard stem attached to it, like a green bean's stem, only longer and thinner. I'd say it was about 2 inches and attached to the fruit with a very small cap (or calyx according to Wikipedia)
  • It had large hard seeds inside it, I think there were 8 in there. They reminded me of guava seeds.
  • It had lighter green striations running across parallel from the stem.
  • The taste was hard to describe. Vegetal like kale and sweet like a sweet pickle. It was pickled so I don't know how much of that taste was inherent in the plant and how much was the pickle.

Does anyone know what kind of pickle I ate?

1
  • The striations and calyx make me think Thai eggplant, but that would be larger, unless there’s some tiny strain. Mouse melons don’t have a calyx, and large caper berries aren’t striated that I’ve seen
    – Joe
    Oct 11 at 13:26
51

It sounds like you may be describing a caper berry. Most folks are familiar with capers, which are the pickled or salted flower bud from the caper plant. However, if the buds are left to mature into fruit, it becomes a caper berry.

Caper berries (like capers) are usually pickled or salted, are about the size of a grape (and vary in size, like grapes), and often packaged with stems intact.

This image shows caper berries in the upper left, and also in the center of the salad itself: Salad with caper berries| Royalty free from Unsplash

This Amazon listing and this website both have some good images of caper berries up close as well.

1
  • 5
    The leaves of the Caper plant are also traditionally pickled - they're delicious, too!
    – Beejamin
    Oct 12 at 3:57

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