These small, dried, bluish-gray seeds of the poppy plant that have a crunchy texture and a nutty flavor. They’re used as a filling in various cakes, pastries and coffee cakes, as a topping for myriad baked goods, in salad dressings and in a variety of cooked dishes-particularly those originating in central Europe, the Middle East and India.There are also beige and brown poppy seeds, which are more commonly available in Asian or Middle Eastern markets. Because of their high oil content, all poppy seeds are prone to rancidity. They should therefore be stored, airtight, in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. The flavor of poppy seed is augmented by toasting.