Poppy seeds

Poppy Seeds

1) Poppy is probably the oldest cultivated plant in the world. It has been grown in Europe and Middle East since neolith. Poppy seeds were found during the excavation of prehistoric structure in Switzerland.

2) In the 19th century opium became a cause for the war between China and the United Kingdom. Opium poppy was grown in British Indies and exported to China. In 1820 Chinese government prohibited the import of opium, which in turn resulted into war. However, in the end China lost Hong Kong and agreed to unlimited import of opium into China.

3) Nowadays poppy seeds have a wide usage in cookery. Various pasties and buns are often sprinkled with poppy seeds. The seeds can be used for stuffing as well. Fried poppy seeds taste very much like nuts. Ground poppy seeds are also included in some hot spice mixes. In Jewish cuisine parties filled with poppy seeds are baked for the religious celebration called Purim. In Bengal poppy seeds are used as the main ingredient of many dishes. For example aloo posto (potatoes and poppy seeds) is a combination of poppy seeds and potatoes cooked together and turned into a smooth and rich product.

4) Poppy seeds contain up to 55% of oil, 20% of proteins and 20% of carbohydrates. Less than half of the poppy seed mass is made up of polysaccharides and monosaccharide (16-20%) as well as vitamins C, B, D, E and calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Due to the fact that poppy seeds contain sugar and proteins, bakery with added poppy seeds gives you some extra calories when eaten.

5) Very often people are wary of poppy seeds, believing that they have drug qualities. In reality, opium is obtained only from unripe pods, long before seeds are developed. Nevertheless people who consumed enough poppy seeds may have false positive result for opiates in a drug test. “False positive” means that the test correctly identifies the presence of the substance, but it is false because the substance was not taken in the typical manner of abuse.

6) There are a lot of traditions related to poppy seeds. For example, in some countries it is traditional to put poppy seeds into the newlyweds’ shoes as a symbol of happiness.


You can find more about various Spices and Herbs here

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