Do Capers Go Bad? – Full Analysis

by Charlie

Capers are an edible flower that comes from the caper bush. Not only can the flower be eaten, capers can also be consumed as either a seasoning or a fruit.

Do capers go bad? Yes, capers do go bad. If you have an unopened jar of capers in your home, they will last up to two years as long as they are stored properly. Once you open the jar of capers, they must be placed in the fridge. If they are refrigerated, an open jar of capers will last one year.

When Capers are past their expiration date, they will slowly begin to turn into a dark color. Then they will develop a foul and terrible smell.

How Long Do Capers Last?

In an unopened container – As long as a jar of capers remains sealed and stored away in the pantry, they will last for several years. They will even last for years after their expiration date. When it comes to the expiration date printed on the jar, they usually last one year after it is manufactured.

But as long as you do not see any signs of the capers becoming old and rotted, they should be fine. Pickled foods last a very long time because of the antibacterial way they are made and their preservative, which extends shelf life. 

In an opened container – once you open a jar of capers, you must store them in the fridge immediately after the first time they are used. As long as they remain in the fridge, an open jar of capers can last up to two years. However, it is best to eat the capers in the fridge in their first year for optimal freshness and taste.

How Long Do Capers Last? Shelf Life [Chart]

ItemLength of Time
Capers, unopenedTwo years
Capers, opened, in the fridgeTwo years
Capers, opened, best tasteOne year
Capers, freshly madeTwo weeks.

Do Capers Go Bad?

Capers do go bad, and they will go bad whether or not their container is opened. If you eat capers beyond their expiration date, do so at your risk. Depending on how they are stored and if their doors open or not, capers can last for a while. Capers will only last for a long time if they are cooked and produced by a brand name food manufacturer.

If you decide to take on the momentous task of making your own fresh capers, they won’t last as long. So it might not be worth the extra effort. It is better to find a brand of capers you like instead of making them by hand.

How to Know if Capers have Gone Bad?

Whenever we dig around in the back of the pantry, we may find a jar of Capers. Unfortunately, the jar doesn’t have an expiration date, and you don’t know how long they have been in the pantry. You are hesitant to eat the Capers because you don’t want to eat them for fear you will get sick.

But you don’t need to worry about when it comes to detecting if capers are still fit for consumption. When capers turn old, their color starts to change and darken. This is the first sign a caper may be rotting. If you notice dark spots forming, then you may be able to eat the ones in the jar that have not changed color.

The second sign a caper has gone bad is if the liquid or the caper develops a foul rotting smell. If the capers have, then don’t try to eat them at all. You are likely to get food poisoning. This is the most obvious sign that your capers have turned. Once they develop a terrible smell, there is no way to save them. Don’t try to pick out the capers that are not dark or “still look good.” 

When you throw away a jar of capers, we recommend doing so by emptying the capers in a small bag and throwing the bag in the trash. Then, take the glass or plastic jar and throw it in the recycle bin. 

How to Store Capers

To preserve a jar of capers and have them last as long as possible, you must store them correctly and not allow bacteria to grow in the jar.

Unopened – Place your new jar of capers in the back of the pantry or cupboard, so they are not affected by sunlight or temperature change every time the pantry door is open. If the pantry or cupboard regularly goes higher than 75 degrees F/23.9C, then put them in the fridge instead.

Opened – After you open a jar of capers, place them in the fridge next to the other condiments and sauces. It is possible to store them back in the pantry since capers have antibacterial properties, but placing them in the fridge is just safer.

Fresh – So you have taken on the monumental task of making your capers? Congratulations, I hope they’re delicious. Now let’s make sure they last as long as possible. To store freshly made capers, so they last at least two weeks, let them sit out for three days to pickle correctly. Then, place them in the fridge, so they don’t become sour. Pickled foods usually last around two weeks.

Conclusion

  • Capers are edible buds from the Caper Bush. It is also known as the Flinders Rose.
  • Capers are made by taking the edible flower Buds and pickling them, along with several ingredients like salt, vinegar, water, and a few other spices for flavor.
  • As long as there are no signs of spoilage or rotting, capers can last for years beyond their expiration date.
  • The expiration date on a jar of capers is about two years if unopened in the pantry.
  • If the jar of capers is opened and placed in the fridge, they will be freshest for their first year. But they can last for two years.
  • There are two signs to watch for to know if capers are going bad: 1. Their color is darkening, and 2. They have a foul rotting smell.
  • If you make your own homemade fresh capers, they must be allowed to ferment for three days in the pantry or a dark place to ferment correctly.
  • Once the three days have passed, then place it in the fridge in an airtight container.

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