Poppy seed is an oilseed obtained from the poppy. The tiny kidney-shaped seeds have been harvested from dried seed pods by various civilizations for thousands of years. It is still widely used in many countries, especially in Central Europe, where it is legally grown and sold in shops.
Poppy seeds are available in different colours like white, grey and blue. The most common variety is white poppy seeds. Like several other spicy seeds, they are sprinkled on bread and buns and used in a variety of Western cakes and pastries. Sprinkled onto coleslaw, the seeds give a contrast of both colour and texture. They are used to top creamed potatoes and sometimes used in fish dishes. They can also be added to noodles or pasta and curries. A variety of mixed spices contain a small proportion of poppy seeds.