Poppy, also known as Iceland poppy, Oriental poppy and opium poppy, gets its botanical name from a Latin word that means “to bring sleep.” The herbaceous plant produces a vibrant red flower that has come to be associated with the blood-stained World War I battlefield at Flanders, and therefore the remembrance of fallen war soldiers. The plant also produces an edible seed, which is used in various world cuisines. In central Europe, for instance, poppy seed is made into a paste as a filling for makowiec, a type of pastry made from rolled yeast bread. Combined with ground coconut, roasted poppy seed is an ingredient in curry paste.

Poppy Seed, 1/4 lb

  • Poppy seeds are harvested from opium poppy, the flowering plant that brought sleep to Dorothy and comrades in the classic tale, The Wizard of Oz.

    Although the plant has long been cultivated for opium, it has also been grown specifically for its seeds since the Bronze Age. In Middle Eastern cuisine, the seeds are used to enhance the flavor of yeast breads and to make a paste to fill pastries.

    Poppy seeds contain very little opiate derivatives, largely due to the fact that the best quality seeds are obtained from dried, mature seed pods instead of unripe green pods. Be aware, however, that the rumor about poppy seeds is true—consuming a quantity of seeds shortly before taking a drug screening test can cause false-positive results.


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