Poppy seeds are the tiny, dried, kidney-shaped seed of the annual Papaver somniferum. The seeds are very small in size, slate-blue or white in color and are nut-like in flavor.
Poppy seeds are used to garnish breads and rolls, ground in sauces and pastry fillings, and added to vegetables and salad dressings. Turkish cuisine uses toasted poppy seeds, while Indian and Turkish spice blends rely on crushed poppy seeds for flavor and texture.
Poppy seed is produced in various countries including the Netherlands, Australia, Romania and Turkey. The Dutch variety, noted for its uniform slate-blue color, is recognized as the best quality seed and comprises most imports into the United States.
Poppy seed has been cultivated for more than 3,000 years. The tiny poppy seed actually comes from the plant that produces opium. The botanical name for the poppy flower means "sleep-bearing." (Poppies were even used in The Wizard of Oz to put Dorothy to sleep.) The seed does not have this effect. Poppy seed was used as a condiment as early as the first century A.D. The red poppy flower has been the symbol of fallen warriors throughout history and was adopted as the emblem to commemorate Veterans Day in the United States.
Flavor & Aroma
Poppy seed is generally described as possessing a pleasant, crunchy nut-like flavor and aroma.
Find recipes that include poppy seeds as an ingredient.