If you were one of those kids who liked POP Rocks, then you might love the new yellow buttons or “Szechuan buttons” as they’re known here in the US. Cooks are experimenting with using these so-called “electric buttons” in food and cocktails Dusko, the chef the chain of restaurants, Haru , uses them in two cocktails –— one is a martini-like drink with a broken-up button rimmed around the edge of the glass. Drink that and you could power an electric grid for an hour.
The plants are known in the U.S. as “Szechuan buttons,” “sansho buttons” or “electric buttons,” and chefs here have been experimenting with them for the past couple of years.
Dusko uses them in two cocktails — one is a martini-like drink with a broken-up button rimmed around the edge of the glass. Rob Welland, the executive chef at Poste in Washington, D.C., is planning to debut an Alaskan halibut dish that integrates the button into a curry sauce. Just in case your curry hasn’t been hot enough lately.
Tacking down this new exotic delicacy, we discovered that the plant known asas Acmella oleracea or para cress, is a very familiar in South America, Africa and Asia, but relatively unknown here until recently.
Keep in mind that the recommended serving size is only part of a button, so don’t go all Pop-Rock crazy or you might not be able to taste anything for a week.