Poppy Seeds are from a colorful annual flower. They have a nutty flavor that European, Indian and Middle Eastern cooks, and others from around the world, love for their crunchiness. Slate-blue seeds are favored by European cooks especially for baked goods - pastries, muffins, bagels, breads; beige seeds by Indian cooks, and brown seeds by Middle Eastern cooks. Toast or dry roast the seeds to bring out the best flavor. There are close to a million seeds in one pound of this spice.
Medicinal derivatives such as Opium, morphine and codeine are made from the sap of unripe poppy seed pods. Culinary-ripened poppy seeds are not affected and cannot produce medicinal derivatives.
Like Sesame Seeds, Poppy Seeds have an high oil content, and are one of the few spices that can actually go bad (bitter, rancid). Buy smaller quantities from a reputable merchant, and replace within six months of purchase. Keep seeds in an airtight container in a cool dark place (your refrigerator). Rancid poppy seeds can ruin your recipe.
They are indigenous to the Middle East; and, cultivated and grown in Argentina, Holland, Iran, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Turkey.
They are good for foods like: breads, curries, desserts, fruits (cherries, lemon, and pineapple), pasta, pastries, pumpkin, salmon, salads (coleslaw, egg, potato), sauces, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and tuna.
They can be steeped and drank as a tisane or infusion; and, this drink is believed to help relieve earaches and toothaches.
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There are almost one million seeds in one pound of Poppy Seeds.