I’ve been strongly identifying with this movie as we head into another school year, so it’s no surprise I found myself pondering my poppies, which had long dried up and turned to seed pods. I opened one, hoping I’d find some opium or something, but a teaspoon or so of black sand-like seeds came pouring out.
It took me a minute, far too long. That late summer dull drowsiness, I guess. Poppyseeds!
It turns out they’re edible (i.e., I didn’t die when I ate them, but note that the internet opinion varies on this matter and I haven’t been able to ascertain any one expert opinion based on science, not rumor).
The problem is that they are not anywhere near as delicious as the cultivated slate-blue kind I bought in Central Europe. The best edible poppy seeds are from the famed opium or breadseed poppy, papaver somniferum or paeoniflorum, not the ones I planted, papaver orientale. As you can see above, mine are black and almost sandy; the good ones are well-defined and much lighter blue. The taste, too, differed greatly. The blue ones taste a bit sharp and nutty; mine tasted like flavorless dirt.
Oh well. Works in a pinch, unless Glenda the Good Witch is behind the scenes. Actually, the oriental poppy doesn’t have the opium alkaloids in it at all, they tell me. It does make me want to experiment a bit growing other varieties, but they are apparently illegal (jury is out on this, too) because anyone who possesses them would likely lose all resistance and become an opium eater upon seeing those fat, latex-oozy seedheads. Poppyseed lovers of America, unite against this discrimination!