Poppy Seed Spice Profile

Posted by Rebekah Wicke on 4/10/18

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What are Poppy Seeds?

Poppy seeds have been used for over 5,000 years for culinary and medicinal purposes from Greece to India to Denmark. Today, the plants grow to a height of up to 3 feet in many countries of the world producing beautiful flowers in varying shades of red. Seeds are released only when the plant’s fruit or seed pods open releasing up to 30,000 seeds each. The tiny seeds are kid¬ney-shaped, bluish gray and less than 1 mm in diameter. Estimates show that there are close to 1 million seeds in 1 pound of spice.

The poppy plant has been used throughout history as a sedative as its botanical name somniferum implies. This is due to the legendary narcotic opium which is produced in unripe poppy capsules. However, the plant’s seed forms only when the capsules reach full maturity, at which point they have lost all opium potential. Therefore, poppy seeds do not contain narcotic properties.

What is it used for today?

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Poppy seeds, with their pleasant, nut-like aroma and taste, are used almost exclusively as a whole spice in baking. Though not as common, they are also used in some salad dressing and bakery seasoning blends. Examples include sauces, breads, pies, strudels or other confections.

To learn more about the spices and seasonings that Fuchs has to offer, click here. 

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Tags: Spices, Ingredients, Spice Profile, Poppy Seed