« back to encyclopedia search results
Poppy seeds (Papaver Somniferum)
Small blue-black seeds of the opium poppy, classified as a spice (they can also be coloured yellow and brown, although these are rarely-found in Britain). Although used in cooking - often to 'decorate' bread - they are in fact poisonous if taken in any quantity. Good oil is made from the seeds.
The Egyptians used these seeds as a condiment and the Ancient Greeks cultivated them for Olympic athletes. In India they are popular ground as a thickening for curries.
If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.