Seeds Saving: beginner
Paracress - Electric Plant (Acmella oleracea)
Paracress (Acmella oleracea): the genus Acmella includes very particular species, the so-called electric plants: their edible flowers provide a series of sensations to the palate, the first bite feels fresh, then a lemon taste shows up, to end with a little shock that stays for a while, and from where the name was born. The reason to this phenomenon is a substance called Spilanthol, a harmless anesthetic present in the leaves.
Beautiful and exotic!
Besides its taste and great sensation, both species are highly ornamental because of their mat-forming habit, and continuous flowering, great for gardens!
This variety, also known as Brazilian Cress, differs from the Electric Daisy because of its flowers, slightly larger and with red apex. The plant is perennial, but it can also be grwon as an annual, in winter it can be kept by maintaining a temperature over 10ºC; it blooms in 80 days from sowing, which should be done by avoiding to bury the seed, jit should just be placed on the soil.
It does very well in pots and on parcial shade. To collect the seeds, it is only necessary to collect the flowers and let them dry, then separate the seeds from the plant with a sieve.
This beauty can provide amazing preparations in the kitchen, in modest quantities.
A few petals on a fish dish will enliven it, provide some acidity, and that Umami whirlwind of flavour that everyone is going for now. The leaves, on the other hand, where the active ingredient is milder, can be put in salads.
The main thing is not to use too much, and warn your diners. These flowers are commercially available for cooking, but at very high prices.
Grow your own and amaze yourself and everyone around you!