Poppy Seeds

Quick Notes:

What Are Poppy Seeds?

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.

Pictures of Poppy Seeds:

Poppy Seeds - blue
Poppy Seeds - white
Poppy Seed plant detail

What is the Origin of Poppy Seeds?

They are indigenous to the Middle East; and, cultivated and grown in Argentina, Holland, Iran, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Turkey.

Poppy Seeds Are Good For These Foods:

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.

Poppy Seeds on Kaiser Roll
Poppy Seed on Tuna
Poppy Seed ground - Bavarian Mohnstriezel

What Are The Health Benefits of Poppy Seeds?

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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Spice Trivia

Do you know these fun facts about spices and herbs?

Black Pepper is the most popular spice in the world

Cumin is the second most popular spice in the world

By weight, Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world.

Vanilla Bean and Cardamom are expensive spices too. Both are hand-harvested and require much manual labor.

Nutmeg is not a nut. It is the seed/pit of a fruit.

The outer lacy covering (aril) on Nutmeg is called mace blade. When in the ground powder form, it is just called "mace"

Cilantro and Coriander are from the same plant. Cilantro is the leaf, and coriander is the seed.

There are almost one million seeds in one pound of Poppy Seeds.