The Washington Post reports that the latest “It” ingredient is the somewhat misleadingly named Sechuan button, dubbed for its ability to evoke the numbing effect of the Szechuan pepper, not its point of origin. Just the written description of this edible flower bud is enough to get hearts pounding:

Sensations from even one-eighth of a half-inch-long, deceptively innocuous little yellow nub will come in waves. There’s a grassy start, then a rush into Pop-Rocks territory as a tingling-slight numbing combo hits the back of the soft palate. Some people will feel the saliva-stimulating effects of the bud’s natural alkylamides; many report a cold-fresh finish in the throat that, like any good gift, keeps on giving long after the plant matter has disappeared down the hatch.

Whoa! That’s what she said!

And by “that’s what she said,” I mean “that’s what Washington Post staff writer Bonnie S. Benwick authoritatively reported in the paper’s October 3 edition.”

Not everyone is thrilled with the “Sechuan” branding, which comes from Koppert Cress BV, a Holland-based grower of microgreens.

Studiokitchen writes:

Sansho buttons are the same flower bud as what the folks at koppertcress [sic] call Sechuan buttons, it seems the name Sechuan button is a figment of someone’s imagination as research shows it has no verifiable connection to the Sechuan [sic] province of China. In addition Koppercress [sic] makes it rather annoying and cryptic to get their products.

But whether you go with the Koppert Cress BV version or the Sun Grown Organic Distributors version, one thing seems clear: These little dudes are potent.

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