50 HERTZ TINGLY SICHUAN PEPPER PEANUTS
These peanuts are just in time for holiday entertaining. In fact, you may wonder why they were not thought of before. Most people interested in food and tastes have heard about or experienced SICHUAN PEPPER, also spelled Szechwan. It is not a pepper like black or white pepper and it is not a capsicum (chile pepper) but the seed hull of a tree, the Prickly Ash tree, (Zanthoxylum armatum and Z.bungeanum) native to southern China and related to Citrus in the Rutaceae family.
It does not have a “hot” taste, but produces a tingling sensation on the tongue and lips which is its hallmark. So not hot, but tingly, some like to say numbing. The sensation is unique. It has also been classified by Cognitive Neuroscience at University College, London, as having a tinglying frequency of 50 Hertz. This gives rise to the brand name of these peanuts. The molecule hydroxy-alpha-sanshool, an aromatic molecule, is what produces the effect on nerve receptors where skin is very thin: around the mouth and lips.
A young Chinese, YAO ZHAO, founded the company of 50 HERTZ having learned the number of hertz the sensation produces. A native of Chongqing in South China, this became an intriguing business proposition and thus we have 50 Hertz Tingly Peanuts. The peanuts themselves come from Kaifeng in Henan province in eastern China. Kaifeng is famous in history as one of the ancient capitals of China. Peanuts grown there are renown for being big, plump and crunchy. The peanuts are fried with both green and red Sichuan pepper.
These are two kinds of pepper, not different colors of the same. The green (Zanthoxylum armatum) is aromatic and citrusy while the red (Z.bungeanum) is earthy and fullbodied, which is the more usual of the two types. Both produce the tingly sensation but not heat
The 50 Hertz Tingly Peanuts are definitely striking in flavor. The tingly sensation is amazing and somewhat addictive. They will definitely spark up your aperitifs. You will think of peanuts in a completely different way.