The New York Times called Szechuan & dulce buttons “intriguing” – read the review!
Dulce buttons and Szechuan buttons have only recently been introduced to the US. These edible flowers have unique, exciting properties that are a great way to wow guests at parties. They’re both so potent that just one will be enough for a single serving.
Szechuan Buttons (aka Sechuan Buttons, Sichuan Buttons, Acmella Oleracea)
Eating a few tiny petals from a Szechuan button (pinched off between thumb and forefinger or cut using a knife or shears) will lead to a tingling sensation…almost like mild voltage or bubbles from an effervescent beverage popping on the tongue. It is similar to (but much more intense than) the tingling imparted by Szechuan peppercorns, which is how this flower gets its name.
Dulce buttons(aka Dushi Buttons, Phyla Dulcis)
These tiny flowers are packed with tremendous flavor. Only about 4mm by 5mm in size, these tiny white buds are super sweet with a mint, thyme, anise/licorice flavor.
How sweet? Depending on how they’re measured, molecule for molecule dulce buttons are 500 to 1,500 times as sweet as conventional sugar (stevia is roughly 200-300 times as sweet as sugar). Despite this sweetness, they are relatively low in calories.
A mixologist sampler including Szechuan buttons, dulce leaves (less sweet than the buttons), and shiso leaves is also available.
Note: Pregnant women and young children should avoid dulce buttons and leaves.