Why Are Poppy Seeds Used In Baking?

Recently, I purchased a large jar of poppy seeds and I proceeded to consume the entire contents. While doing this, I noticed that this was quite easy to do, as the seeds had no discernable flavor whatsoever.

I also noticed that they are grayish-black in color, leaving them with little decorative value.

Why then are these seeds used to garnish baked goods such as muffins and bagels?


Cuz they’re guuuuuuuuuuuuud.

No discernable flavour? I’ve never eaten them except in baked goods, but they do have a flavour that I like.


I couldn’t detect any flavor at all, even when eating them in large quantities. It’s hard for me to imagine how anyone could notice the flavor of just a small pinch of poppy seeds sprinkled on top of a muffin.

Perhaps it’s just me, but I haven’t had any difficulties tasting other items.

Maybe baking them releases the flavour.

Why were you eating poppy seeds in large quantities?

It might be something that was came from Czech or Eastern European baking. Poppyseed kolaches, for instance, are stuffed with a filling made mostly from them. It tastes great and is a lot like chocolate, with whole poppies replacing the cocoa.

Precisely. All the poppy seed recipes I have instruct the cook to step them in scalded milk, for example, to release the flavor. Think of it as an alaogous process to toasting nuts to bring out the flavor.

You won’t tate them so much when they are used to garnish something like a bagel, because of the small amount, but if you try a nice East European poppy seed-filled cake or pastry, you will get a much stronger sense of the flavor. I highly recommend it! :slight_smile:

That’s “steep,” not “step.”

Poppy seeds have a delightful semi-acrid flavor that is a perfect compliment to many baked goods. Just like sesame seeds, they are an abundant and easy to grow food stock. I’ll take a poppy seed bagel over a plain one in a New York minute. You might wish to try a well made poppy seed cake sometime before abandoning this delicious food ingredient.

Yummmm, poppy seed cake. And poppy seed bagels are my favorite kind. The poppy seed flavor may be kind of subtle, but it’s quite distinctive.

Let’s hope your employer doesn’t spring an unannounced drug test on you.

According to Snopes you can end up with a positive drug test.

Until TheLadyLion baked her grandma’s poppy seed struedel for me I only thought of them as something sprinkled on my bagel. I had no concept of pastries that use them as a filling. Her streudel is way yummy and I’m sure it can cause people I haven’t even met to fail a drug test.

Probably for the same reason people eat whole jars of nutmeg.

Getting blazed in the kitchen with grannie…:smiley:

Poppy seeds are tasty. Especially on warm pretzels (mohnbretzen?), bagels or in egg bread.

Just an FYI: There are opiates in poppy seeds; enough to turn a urine screen positive. But not enough to get an opiate buzz on. Not even if you eat 2 or 3 pounds of them.

I learned an unusual pasta sauce recipe from a Czech girlfriend that’s basically a tiny bit of oil, poppy seeds, and sugar, ground into a paste and tossed with the noodles. Sounds wierd but it’s really good. Kind of like a Bizarro-universe pesto.

What the heck are you saying, Padeye?!?

Poppy seed struedel is a drug all on its own!

Don’t even get me started about hot-from-the-oven challa.

just came in to say i first read the title as poopy seeds, mmm, little chance of that being ‘no flavour’…

Larry Mudd, that poppy seed pesto sounds like it’s either really fantastic or pure sh!t, with no in between. I may have to try it sometime. Thank you for sharing such a wacky recipe.