Poppy Seeds in our A-Z - Cooking Index
Poppy seeds are like tiny hard grains. The Western type is slate blue; the Indian type, off-white. Both are kidney-shaped. The blue seeds average 1mm in length, while the white seeds are somewhat smaller.
Poppy Seeds are a classic addition to buttered egg noodles, fruit salad dressings, and fragrant yeast breads. Poppy Seeds add nutty flavor and texture to cookies, cakes, breads, muffins, strudels pastry crusts, and pancake and waffle batters. In Turkey, poppy seeds are quite often used in desserts. In India they are often ground and used to thicken sauces.
The scent of a poppy seed is quite a delicate sweetish aroma which is brought out by roasting or baking. The flavour of a poppy seed is mild until heated, then it becomes nutty, with sweet-spicy under-tones.
Poppies are native to Mediterranean regions, India, China, Turkey, and Iran. Today, Holland and Canada are the main producers of poppy seeds.
Years ago, it was not uncommon for family members of the deceased to place poppy seeds at a gravesite to keep vampires busy counting seeds rather than preying on their relatives.