For culinary purposes, small amounts of shredded fresh leaves are said to add a unique flavour to salads. Cooked leaves lose their strong flavour and may be used as leafy greens. Both fresh and cooked leaves are used in dishes such as stews in northern Brazil, especially in the state of Pará. They are combined with chilis and garlic to add flavor and vitamins to other foods.
The flower bud has a grassy taste followed by a strong tingling or numbing sensation, with a cooling sensation in the throat. The buds are known as “buzz buttons”, “Sichuan buttons”, “sansho buttons”, and “electric buttons”.
A concentrated extract of the Spilanthes plant identified as jambu is used as a flavoring agent in many countries worldwide.
Jambu extract as a food flavoring is described as having a citrus, herbal, tropical or musty odor, and its taste can be described as pungent, cooling, tingling, numbing, or effervescent.
These specialized herbs and vegetables are now being used by creative cooks everywhere! Foodie Delights!