The frequent use of capers in Tuscan cooking is perfectly in line with tradition, from the moment that the countryside, since ancient times, had a large availability of capers pickled in salt. The sour taste of capers goes well, revives and makes more appetizing, preparations that otherwise may be sweetish, such as chicken livers. The caper plant is originally from Asia Minor and from Greece from which it spread in ancient times throughout the Mediterranean because this, much appreciated, small fruit is easily preserved pickled in salt or vinegar and so always available.
A particular use from Renaissance origins - today proposable as an aperitif - is that of capers and raisins. For its preparation before doing anything else the raisins must be immersed in water; then they are placed in a dish with the same quantity of capers. All of it is then soaked in orange juice and sprinkled with a little, finely chopped, orange rind. A recipe which Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger (1568-1646), grandson of the older Michelangelo, was very greedy for. He was an academician of the Crusca and studied languages «Eating them with raisins - he wrote - capers gladden the heart and rouse the appetite».