Szechuan Buttons

Here's a good example of something which, on one hand, looks rather fascinating. Szechuan Buttons, a flower bud with numbing mouth feel and alchemical effects on the palate.

We're all for the new. After all, isn't it your own Cooky Cat who introduced you to the idea of cutting your Pepperoni for Pizza, rather than in to round thin slices, but each slice into quarters; and a thickish? (Props to Pizza Town in Elmwood Park, New Jersey for that discovery.)

Yet, there's this thing in the culinary world about searching hither and yon for the most exotic and rare and obscure recipes and ingredients. Baron Ambrosia, one of our own very personal faves, is off the hook in that category. Makes Bizarre Foods maven Andrew Zimmern look like a neophyte. And, that's saying something. That Zimmern, with his references to the right amount of "Poopy-ness" or "Bloody Minerality". The Baron waxes eloquent with Bat Wing Curry and Meal Worm Hummus. Those last two we made up, but not far from the mark. Look Baron Ambrosia. He keep us current on Facebook. Look for him only the best of the best hang their hats. "Merc - That - Thang"

But, with all this new stuff to put in your Bouche. We are not amused. Basta!

Where the kanker gnaws is in how a magazine like Saveur can so blithely mention something like Szechuan Buttons and suggest you try. As if those little blooms are just around the corner. Or, affordable. Like my corner grocer Joe should have a whole bunch on hand even as we speak. Can someone please tell us where to get Szechuan Buttons other than a special trek to China or a lengthy Internet search? This just in: On Amazon for $49.93 plus $34.95 for shipping. They better be worth it.

It's a slippery slope. Sort of like eating overcooked Okra. If you have unlimited financial resources and have a staff to go-fetch like Martha Stewart, fine.

We put mustard on our Hot Dogs and Ketchup on our Hamburgers. Never otherwise. That is the extent of our culinary snobbery.

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