Poppy Seeds are tiny nuttytasting, bluegray seeds inside capsules on Papaver somniferum, a yellowishbrown opium plant indigenous to the Mediterranean. Geographical Sources Poppies are native to Mediterranean regions, India, China, Turkey, and Iran. Today, Holland and Canada are the main producers of poppy seeds. Traditional Ethnic Uses Poppy Seeds are used to flavor breads, cakes, rolls, and cookies in European and Middle Eastern cooking. In Turkey, they are often ground and used in desserts. In India, the seeds are ground and used to thicken sauces. The seeds are also used in noodle, fish, and vegetable dishes in Jewish, German, and Slavic cooking. Taste and Aroma Poppy Seeds have a slightly nutty aroma and taste.