First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! Hope yall had a great night and this year is treating you well!
Alright, so I went over to the lady's coworker's house where there were about 10 of us playing games and drinking. One of the guys there is a professional chef and food supplier for a ton of restaurants in the MD/VA/DC area. He brought along some great food.
Then he whipped out a small plastic container. Inside this container were these very very small strawberry-looking things called Szechuan Buttons. He passed them out to all the guys and any of the girls that wanted to try one. He told us to bite off the "button" but not to eat the stem. Then just chew on it for a bit and swallow it.
So we all did. Popping it in my mouth it wasn't solid at all. It kinda felt like eating dense cotton. No real flavor to it. We all chewed on it and looked around at eachother thinking... wtf. Whats the big deal about it? Then people started saying "Whoa" "What the hell is that?" "oh my god!"
It hit me about 15 seconds after everybody else. It felt like your entire mouth was tingling and becoming electrified. Not hot, not spicy, not... I don't know. The closest that anybody could compare was putting a 9V battery on your tongue. And then it started feeling like an anesthetic. I couldn't feel anything in my mouth except the feeling of electricity shooting through my mouth. It didn't hurt at all. It just felt.... electric. Some people didn't care for it and drank some water and the feeling went away. But for the rest of us, it lasted about 5 minutes before subsiding.
For our midnite champagne toast, the chef chopped some up real fine and put the "powder" on strawberries that we put around our champagne glasses. After the countdown and midnite kiss, we all ate the strawberry and guzzled down our champagne, which stimulated the bubbly of champagne and felt absolutely insane.
Anyways, the plastic case he had had 30 buttons in it and the container sells for about $50. So they aren't readily available here in the states, but if you -ever- see these things -anywhere- in the world, you have GOT to try one. It is certainly a feeling that you will never forget!
Oh, apparently they are also called Sansho Buttons as well.
Here is a post made about them on some organic site:
Edible Blossoms: Sansho Buttons™ must be tasted to be appreciated. Bitting into the Sansho Button™ is like a pleasant shock! Your taste buds start tingling with a warm citrus pepper feeling. The tanginess moves to a slight numbness in the mouth and then you begin to salivate. Don't worry! It only last a few seconds but after one taste you'll want more.