Although poppy seeds for culinary use are gathered from the opium poppy, poppy seeds have no effective narcotic content.
Blue poppy seeds are used mostly in European cooking while the slightly smaller white ones are a regular feature in Indian recipes. Both have a pleasing, nutty taste that goes well with breads, biscuits and cakes.
Ground poppy seeds are a common thickening agent in the Mughal cooking style of Northern India to obtain the sweet, milk, nutty flavour and aroma.
The nutty taste of poppies is also much loved by the Japanese and used for the subtly flavoured dishes typical of Japan.
The poppy seeds grown as a by-product in Tasmania are available in supermarkets all over Australia.