Szechuan Buttons – Eat at your own risk!!!

Acmella oleracea

I received a tiny package from MarxFoods today that came with the warning… “eat at your own risk”!  Now that’s my kind of adventurous ingredient! Marx Foods Mixology Challenge is on! 

This unassuming delicate flower looks harmless enough but in this case it’s fragile looks are very misleading!  Famous for it’s “Electric” sensation on your tongue and lips the Szechuan Button is getting a big name around town with master mixologists. 

I think I was more excited opening this little package of tantalizing flowers than opening my gifts on my birthday!  However, I was a year older so that’s probably not the best analogy!  Need less to say, I was very excited to open the package and I split half of one bud between myself and my three children…a whole button between us would have be way too much for a first time taste test! 

We were all very quiet for the first few seconds then the effects kicked in…the first flavor was like tasting metal. MarxFoods describes the taste like sticking your tongue on a live battery.  Yup!  That’s pretty much the gist of it!  What comes next is the feeling of numbing, akin to the swab of numbing agent from the dentist before having a cavity filled.  Aanesthetic with a bit of citrus after taste.  Then the tingles fill your mouth and the event is under way. 

To learn More bout Szcehuan Buttons visit MarxFoods.  I can tell you it that half a button split between four people was quite enough to feel the impact of these “funny” buttons. 

I’m poised to begin another competition using this unusually anesthetic ingredient…I’ve already been putting together several recipes in my mind and hope to bring a fancy, tingly cocktail to the table for this competition.

I’ll be posting my recipe February 3, 2011, and voting will go live on the MarxFoods website February 7-11.  The winner will be announced February 15, 2011. 
Wish me luck!!

Acmella oleracea
 
 
 
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  1. Hi Gloria, Hi Joy,

    What a funny experience tasting these for the first time.

    I think these buttons are a food fashion statement for the NY City Mixologists and less for using in the kitchen for cooking. However, I’m looking forward to making my tingly cocktail!