Gourmet Food Source
For many, the Poppy plant is synonymous with narcotics but it has been cultivated for use in food for over three thousand years. From the plant ‘papaver somniferum’ which is native to China, Turkey, India and parts of the Mediterranean it is also cultivated in Holland and it is the Dutch variety, which is considered the superior.
Poppy seeds have a relatively low billing on the world food stage, used mostly in Central Europe as a flavouring and decoration for breads, rolls, biscuits and salt sticks it is also used as a thickening agent in Indian curries but is notoriously difficult to grind. The seeds are small and blue-black in colour with a slightly nutty taste.
Poppy seed oil is extracted from the white poppy plant (the main reason for its cultivation) and as well as its use in cooking can be found in the manufacturing of soaps and paints.
Content and picture © Miles Collins