Nonpareilles

O'Shea's Dark Chocolate Nonpareils

Here is a question for you to answer.  Today a friend pointed out that capers often have the word ‘nonpareilles’ on the label.  When we looked that word up it comes back ‘unparalleled’. But according to our reading a nonpareil caper is a small caper and other larger capers have other names.

It seems like there could be two reasons for the caper to have this adjective, but I couldn’t find mention of either.  First being that smaller capers are better tasting and therefore ‘unparalleled’.  The second being that certain sprinkles are called nonpareilles and there is a confection called a nonpareil. Maybe you know it as a snowdrop.  Either way, a nonpareil is a tiny ball of sugar, named because you could decorate cakes with them in an ‘unparalleled manner’. Perhaps the small size of the caper reminded someone of these sprinkles.

Do you know the answer?

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