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The Osaka Purple is a beautiful plant in and of itself. I'd plant it just for the brilliant purple color and the curly texture of the leaves. Second, when eaten raw, this plant gets hot (capsacin) as you chew it. The more you masticate the juices, the hotter it gets in your mouth.
But -- and here's the fascinating part -- while you get all the taste of hot in your mouth, your mouth does not burn! And even though your brain is saying, "my mouth is on fire," once you stop getting the juices, you realize your mouth is not burning!
It sorta reminds you of horse radish, and I imagine chewing a large piece would probably hit you just like a mouthful of horse radish (and, no, I haven't been that brave!)
Tiny pieces of the leaves would be great broken up in a fresh green salad.
But, the whole hot/taste thing doesn't happen once it's cooked. Last fall season I loved taking folks on walking tours of my veggie garden and having them chew on a tiny piece! They loved it!
I'll harvest the seed pod in about three weeks and would be happy to share with those who'd like to try them from seed. Just send me a SASE (Self-addressed, STAMPED return envelope). I'll dispatch the seeds until I run out and then I'll post that this offer is closed.
Send me a dmail if you'd like to send me a SASE for seeds, and I'll send you my addy.
(pic taken from the Seeds of Change website)http://www.seedsofchange.com/garden_center/product_details.aspx?item_no=PS15476