What are poppy seeds?

The poppy plant has been part of the agricultural world since the early ages, having been mentioned in the early accounts of the Greeks and Romans. The earliest documentation reaches as far back as 3,000 years ago. For the Egyptians, poppies symbolized rebirth because of its ability to be “reborn” after the harvest season.

The poppy plant is also a well-known symbol of remembrance for war veterans, which originates from its mention in the poem “In Flanders Fields,” which symbolizes the beauty and the renewal of war-ravaged land.

Aside from its literary and historical symbolism, the poppy plant is widely known for the various products that can be sourced from it. The vibrant poppy flowers are also used for ornamental purposes by the gardening community. After the poppy flowers start to dry up, its kidney-shaped seeds start developing in the pods. 

This is one of the products from the poppy plant that is legal to produce and acquire. The opiate component of the plant is said to disappear once the seeds develop, making it safe for consumption. One of the easiest indications whether the seeds are ready for harvest is the rattling sound the pods give off when they are slightly shaken.

Poppy seeds come in three different colors: white, blue and black. Blue seeds are commonly called the European poppy seeds because they are abundant in that part of the world, while white poppy seeds are called Indian, Middle Eastern or Asian. There are no distinct differences between these types aside from their color, with the choice mainly depending on the color preference of the baker or the cook and its availability.

Poppy seeds are mainly used in the culinary world for their crunchy texture and unique flavor. One of the most famous pastries that incorporate poppy seeds originates from Hungary, and is called makosh, or Hungarian poppy seed roll; it uses poppy seeds as a filling. Today, poppy seeds are commonly added to bagels, puddings, cakes and tarts. But although it’s usually added to baked goods, its culinary use is not limited to this.

Use of poppy seeds

Poppy seeds are usually incorporated into recipes for scones, pastries, rolls and even main dishes. Chefs and cooks often add poppy seeds to heighten the flavor of the dishes and lend an unexpected nutty twist to their recipes.

Its flavor is often characterized as walnut-like, fruity and slightly smoky. If you want to try out some healthy choices for poppy seed recipes.

** source : Food Facts


What is jaggery?

Jaggery is an unrefined sugar product made in Asia and Africa. It’s sometimes referred to as a “non-centrifugal sugar,” because it’s not spun during processing to remove the nutritious molasses.

Similar non-centrifugal sugar products exist all over Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, although they all have different names.

Use of jaggery

Like sugar, jaggery is versatile. It can be grated or broken up, and then used as a replacement for refined sugar in any food or drink. 

In India, it’s often mixed with foods like coconuts, peanuts and condensed milk to make traditional desserts and candies. These include jaggery cake and chakkara pongal, a dessert made from rice and milk.

It is also used to make traditional alcoholic drinks, such as palm wine, and for non-food purposes like dying fabric. In the Western world, this sweetener is often used as a sugar substitute in baking. It can also be used to sweeten drinks like tea and coffee.

** source : HealthLine