If you are fond of foods and love trying out new recipes, you must have heard about poppy seeds. This spice comes from the seeds of the opium poppy. It is mainly used in foods due to its excellent flavor. Besides, these seeds also produce poppy-seed oil, which is beneficial for different reasons.
The poppy seeds do not contain narcotic characteristics. That’s because the seeds do not include the fluid, which is the main source of narcotics in opium. The opium plant is called Papaver Somniferum. It is an annual herbaceous plant. The poppy seeds plant is native to the orient and Greece. This spice has a large history of culinary uses and has been used since ancient times. Besides, poppy seeds are also great for treating asthma, cough, insomnia, constipation, diarrhea, etc. However, its medical benefits are not supported scientifically yet.
What does Poppy Seed Look Like?
Poppy seeds are tiny seeds that have the shape of a kidney. These seeds have a normal size of 1 mm in length. Moreover, the color of poppy seeds varies based on their type. You may find a color between dark blue to greyish blue. While the poppy plant has a height of one meter. The plant is filled with flowers all across. Each flower has around 4 or 6 petals. The colors of petals vary. You can find petals of almost all colors depending on the region it is grown. Moreover, this spice is also available in two different forms. You can find both ground and whole forms of poppy seeds.
Where does Poppy Seed Come From?
As stated above, poppy seeds are native to Greece and the Orient. Its cultivation history can be traced back to ancient times. Its existence was found in the medical books of ancient civilizations. One example is from Egyptian papyrus, which is around 1550 B.C. They called it a sedative seed. Besides, another evidence can be traced back to around 2700 B.C. to 1450 B.C. It was cultivated by the people of the island of Crete. They used to cultivate it for their seeds. They used the combination of opium, honey, and milk. Moreover, another civilization known as the Sumerians was also one of the first cultivators of poppy seeds.
How is Poppy Seed Made?
Since the poppy seeds come from the opium plant, you must begin the process by planting the plant. The opium plant is super easy to grow. First, the plant begins flowering during early summer or late spring. Then, the petals start dropping, and the fruit, i.e., seeds pod, starts getting visible. The pods contain a large number of black seeds. For getting the seeds, you can wait until the plant dies. Then you can put them in nylon stockings or cheesecloth. Afterward, keep shaking the pods until the seeds completely fell off.
What Does Poppy Seed Taste Like?
The poppy seeds have a very nutty flavor. It has a mild taste that resembles the taste of nuts. Poppy seeds do not have a sharp taste. If you taste this spice, you will feel a great fruitiness along with a nut-like aroma.
How is Poppy Seed Used in Cooking?
All types of poppy seeds can be used for cooking. You can add the ground form with other spices like garam masala, chili powder, curry, etc. It will give a little nutty flavor to the recipe. Besides, you can also add whole seeds to the recipe. Add it whenever you want to have a nice flavor and aroma.
What Types of Cuisines Use Poppy Seed?
Poppy seeds are highly used in Indian, Asian, and western cuisines. It is mostly found in sweet dishes and cakes and cookies, etc. In European cuisines, it is mostly used in bread, pastries, and buns, etc.
What is a Poppy Seed Substitute?
If you are out of poppy seeds and cannot find one, you can use some of its substitutes. They will give almost similar tastes and aroma. Some good substitutes for poppy seeds are chia seeds, toasted sesame seeds, nigella seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds.
Where to Buy Poppy Seed?
If you are looking for quality, taste, and affordability all in a single product, then it can be quite hard to find. But don’t worry because we have done the work for you. We have picked few best products for you. They have all the qualities that you look for. These poppy seed products are listed below.
- Frontier Co-op Poppy Seed Whole, Certified Organic, Kosher | 1 lb. Bulk Bag | Papaver somniferum L.
- Chef’s Quality Whole Poppy seed 20 OZ ( Includes Maryland Wholesale sticker )
- McCormick Culinary Whole Black Sesame Seed, 18 oz
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