Fine grey poppy seeds (Papaver somniferum) are derived from a variety of hypnotic poppy called oleaginous. Poppy is cultivated successfully in many countries with warm climates. The seeds are small whitish or gray with a specific flavor and use in cooking.
Poppy is an annual herbaceous plant. Poppy seed itself is located in the capsule, which remains after the color fades. Most are used in dried form. The seeds are small, like tiny grits. Have fine taste of nuts and their color goes from blue-gray to white or yellow-brown. Blue-gray long are 1 mm and the others are shorter.
Larger poppy seeds are considered European because they are often used on breads and pastries. White is considered Indian, Middle Eastern and Asian are longer, used there in culinary applications. Tastes of these two types of poppy seeds can provide a pretty small difference.
It is assumed that the poppies have appeared first in the Mediterranean, in India, Turkey and Iran.
The poppy is a genus of annual, biennial and perennial plants of the Poppy family (Papaveraceae), and in the world, there are about 100 known species. They are mainly distributed in the northern hemisphere and the country found 8 of them.
The colors of the poppies are ranging from white through red, yellow, orange to blue. Some of the flowers have a dark center. A spice used oilseed poppy coming from Asia Minor. Today, the largest of their producers are the Netherlands and Canada.
Greatest economic importance is the type of soporific poppy (Papaver somniferum), which is grown for opium production and is not found in a wild state. Papaver somniferum is not found wild, and should not be confused with Polish poppy, which is widely distributed as a weed in crops and grassy places.
Soporific poppy is grown as an oilseed crop and raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry, as well as a culinary spice.
From unripe, green seed capsules of the poppy, is produced a hypnotic milky juice, rich in alkaloids named opium. It is a starting material for the production of heroin, morphine, codeine, and analgesic agents. Poppy seeds are extracted from fully ripe fruit and contains alkaloids.
A beautiful legend says poppy seeds appeared from the tears of Venus. When Venus lost her beloved Adonis, she cried inconsolably, shedding rivers of tears. Where they fell, there flourished poppies. So ever since, their petals easily drop tears. Many legends are associated with poppy seeds.
Some suggest it as a symbol of fertility. Once the clothes of the couple had placed poppies to give them children. Moreover, the poppies were once banned as ominous sign as a symbol of sleep (due to opium) and death (due to their blood-red color).
In Greco-Roman myths, poppies symbolize impending death, and when they were painted Light Magenta, were a promise of resurrection after the end of your earthly time. Later flowers meant honor, dignity and respect. As early as the 2nd century, women in Crete grew opium.
Chemical composition and nutrients in poppy seeds
Poppy seeds contain a milky juice, rich in alkaloids. Used as an oilseed plant comprising in seed oil at 55%, and many alkaloids. Per 100 g poppy seeds contains 41.56 g of fat, carbohydrates 28.13 g, 17.99 g protein and 525 kcal purposes. In the poppy seeds, we find low levels of vitamins of the B group and higher levels of sodium and potassium.
Selecting and storing poppy
Buy well packed poppy whose label has clear information on manufacturer and expiration date. Keep it in a dark and dry place.
Culinary use of poppy seeds
We tend to use poppy seeds in different bakeries - bread, cakes, biscuits and fillings. It is important to know that poppy seeds grind extremely hard, but the body can not be utilized fully if not ground or at least broken.
Poppy seed is often used in salads and various pastas, but pre-baked or stayed in the hot water for more than 3 hours. When the seeds are used in salads, it is recommended to bake them before making their flavor stronger. When using poppy seeds in the preparation of cakes or pies is good for them to be flooded with boiling water and let stand so 1 to 3 hours before use. Keep poppy seeds in a cool dry place.
The delicate aroma and flavor of poppy seeds is like walnut, felt after baking or cooking. The seeds we use in baked sweets, breads, fillings of pastries, cakes and more. no drugs. Poppy suits certain types of sauces and meats. Poppy seeds complement honey smeared on bread. Used for seasoning vegetables and root vegetables and sauces to flavor them. Sprinkled on a salad of cabbage, carrots and mayonnaise, they create color and flavor contrast.
Try to put a poppy seed when preparing potatoes with cream and dishes in the oven, and sometimes fish dishes. In Turkey they are often present in desserts and in India are used to thicken sauces and in Israel, Germany and Slavic cuisine - cooking of noodles, fish and vegetarian dishes, and in addition to crispy cookies.
Recipe for biscuits with poppy seeds
Preparation: mix the flour with the salt, sugar and starch stir briefly in a blender or food processor. Add butter and whip until you get crumbs. Add poppy seeds and orange peel and knead the dough by hand. Leave the dough in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Then roll out a thin crust, about 1 cm thick and cut out desired shapes for biscuits. With a toothpick make slight piercings on their surface. Leave them for 10 minutes in the freezer, then transfer them to a tray with baking paper and put to bake for about 10-12 minutes in preheat oven to 150 degrees.
Health benefits of poppy seeds
For medical purposes, poppy seeds from species Celandine (Chelidonium majus) are used. The syrup from the western type of poppy seed is analgesic and expectorant action. Eastern species have a strong narcotic effect. Gargle with the infusion of poppy seeds helps with toothache.
Poppy seeds (Papaver rhoeas L.) have an antitussive effect. Used to relieve painful coughs, but also for diarrhea, dysentery, bedwetting. Decoction of the fruit is used for abdominal pain, cough, irregular menstruation, with palpitation and others.
Directions: Prepare an infusion of 2 tablespoons seeds and 250ml boiling water. Take 1 tablespoon in tea every 2 hours.
Actually even Hippocrates suggested the use of poppy seeds in medicine. Once again they treated asthma, stomach disorders and "bad" eyes. Centuries later, in Asia, the plant was spreading as an opiate. In 1830, even the so-called Opium War took place, in which China tried to stop the sale of opium by the British Empire. In the 19th century, in Europe was very widespread sale of poppy seeds as a drug.
Dangers of poppy seeds
Almost all are poisonous and should not be used without knowledge. The poppy is a potent herb and poppy-based medicines are used only on prescription and under medical supervision.