What is a Sechuan Button or Acmella Oleracea: (source Wikipedia)
It is a species of flowering herb in the family Asteraceae. The flower bud has a grassy taste followed by a strong tingling or numbing sensation and often excessive salivation, with a cooling sensation in the throat.
How we applied this ingredient into an event, and a little more about that event:
We have hosted a couple 50 Shades of Grey events for private and corporate clients and so wanted to create something that was playful, tasteful but still had a little bit of a naughty side. So instead we created a menu and dining experience which would explore the senses and how we could manipulate them to create certain sensations.
Safe word: Scallop carpaccio marinated in lemon and soya, topped with sechuan buds, lime espuma & black sesame crunch
SOUND (sound) : The sensation produced by vibrations. Guests will be blindfolded and served their first course. An audio instructions will be given, the voice is seductive but firm, allowing guests to become submissive.
Lick me dry: pallet cleanser (guests will have their hands tied and be instructed to lick the liquid off the plate)
TASTE (test) : The impression of food on the tongue. The first course will evoke a journey of the senses. Allowing your lips, tongue, teeth, and throat to taste each texture and flavour individually.
The Christian Grey: Fillet of beef topped with truffle shards, accompanied with a nori powdered cauliflower puree
SIGHT (sahyt) : The perception of what lies in front of us. Blindfolds will be removed, enabling guests to discover interactive elements on the table : touch me, taste me, drink me, use me, open me.
Pleasure and pain: Frozen grapes, disguised chili strawberry, amaretto spiked cream, contrasting ice cubes, poached chocolate centered pear served with a paintbrush and instruction to take control.
Additional senses that we played with during the evening:
SMELL (smel) : To perception of a scent. Certain aromas will be diffused in the room throughout the evening in order to enhance the dining experience.
TOUCH (tuhch) : To be in contact with. Throughout the evening guests will be blindfolded, silk rope cuffed, and caressed. They will have the opportunity to interact with each other and their surroundings. And who knows, maybe even take control.