Tokyo Poppy Seeds

Posted on June 1, 2011

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Last week the poppies in Tokyo were nearing the end of their brief blooming season. This week, perhaps in large part due to the typhoon misting we received, most of the flowers are now spent, with just seed pods on stems remaining. Since during a recent Montreal bagel making session,  we weren’t able to source a reasonable amount of poppy seeds and just stuck with the ubiquitous sesame, the wheels in my head started turning. Sesame is tasty enough, but given the current state of Tokyo’s sidewalks and alleys, which are just loaded with spent poppies, I got to thinking that these ignored weeds could be put to good use on future bagels. I picked some poppy pods and found that the ones that still have some green to them contain white seeds, but the ones that have darkened and tried out are filled with tiny black seeds that you can actually shake out of the top of the pod. As if the tiny seeds (about 1/5 the size of poppy seeds from the store) weren’t cute enough, the natural design of the pod as a little shaker is also adorable, and fascinating. Because the seeds that I picked were so much smaller than the ones I am used to, I have considered that within the many varieties of poppy, not all of them produce edible seeds. A little online research led me to a page whose information suits me. I’ll be out gathering more dried up poppy pods this week.

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Posted in: harvest