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Food and Drink Essential to sustain life; near the top of the hierarchy of needs

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Old 03-21-2020, 08:28 AM   #1
footfootfoot
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Sichuan peppercorns

About last year sometime I went to an authentic Taiwanese restaurant with someone who has lived over there on and off for several years. Taiwan, not the restaurant. He got chummy with the owners and we'd get special stuff, even more authentic than the other folks, although I did hear a guy, (who happened to be loud, white and American - just saying) proclaim that it was the best <name of Chinese dish> he'd had since he was in <name of Chinese province>.

So, I was told that what made this crispy chicken so awesome was the combo of the Sichuan pepper corns and the little red chilis. I used some in a chicken dish I made the other night and the kids loved it and the 75inch said: "It's like eating nine volt batteries."

Totally recommend. I got mine from a popular online retailer that is giving away free saws to select lucky customers.

From wikipedia:

Sichuan pepper's unique aroma and flavour is not hot or pungent like black, white, or chili peppers. Instead, it has slight lemony overtones and creates a tingly numbness in the mouth (caused by its 3% of hydroxy alpha sanshool) that sets the stage for hot spices. According to Harold McGee in On Food and Cooking, they are not simply pungent; "they produce a strange, tingling, buzzing, numbing sensation that is something like the effect of carbonated drinks or of a mild electric current (touching the terminals of a nine-volt battery to the tongue). Sanshools appear to act on several different kinds of nerve endings at once, induce sensitivity to touch and cold in nerves that are ordinarily nonsensitive, and so perhaps cause a kind of general neurological confusion."[12]

Recipes often suggest lightly toasting the tiny seed pods, then crushing them before adding them to food. Only the husks are used; the shiny black seeds are discarded or ignored as they have a very gritty, sand-like texture. The spice is generally added at the last moment. Star anise and ginger are often used with it in spicy Sichuan cuisine. It has an alkaline pH and a numbing effect on the lips when eaten in larger doses. Ma la sauce (Chinese: 麻辣; pinyin: ml; literally "numbing and spicy"), common in Sichuan cooking, is a combination of Sichuan pepper and chili pepper, and it is a key ingredient in m l hot pot, the Sichuan version of the traditional Chinese dish. It is also a common flavouring in Sichuan baked goods such as sweetened cakes and biscuits.[citation needed] Beijing microbrewery Great Leap Brewing uses Sichuan peppercorns, offset by honey, as a flavouring adjunct in its Honey Ma Blonde.[13]

I'd try some of that Honey Ma Blonde.
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Old 03-21-2020, 05:33 PM   #2
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Notes have been taken in exchange for my thanks.
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Old 03-21-2020, 10:08 PM   #3
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I'm pretty well fascinated with these-- a pepper that isn't technically "hot"

Szechuan Ice Cream is one idea I've considered...
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:09 AM   #4
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This really sounds interesting.
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Old 03-24-2020, 02:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by footfootfoot View Post
On Food and Cooking, they are not simply pungent; "they produce a strange, tingling, buzzing, numbing sensation that is something like the effect of carbonated drinks or of a mild electric current (touching the terminals of a nine-volt battery to the tongue).
That sounds like something to be careful of mixing with other things as it might mask the effects of certain things.
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Old 03-24-2020, 06:46 AM   #6
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Turns out Lil' G is already up to speed on them, big fan.
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Old 03-24-2020, 07:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Griff View Post
Turns out Lil' G is already up to speed on them, big fan.
All the cool kids...
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