Where is the best place to buy poppy seeds? I've heard that many sold in shops are not fresh, and consequently are bitter.

I live near a Whole Foods Market with what seems to be a high turnover in everything they sell. Is that a good option? Are there more reliable sources online?

Thank you so much.

Mrs Beryl Patmore


Picholine August 23, 2016
Spice House another family member to Penzeys and less pricey
Just type spice house.com
Sean R. August 23, 2016
Always go to the Spice House over Penzeys. You'll save money and support a small, delightful business.
Yeahright November 4, 2022
Yeah… a former employee ripped Penzey’s spice catalog and blends and created Spice House! NO JOKE! Here in Littleton.
Mrs B. August 22, 2016
Thank you, everyone, for the helpful advice.
James A. August 16, 2016
This is curious because I know for a fact (I'm a garden editor) that bread-seed poppies or the poppy seeds found in your spice cabinet are, in fact, Papaver somniferum, or opium poppy seeds that remain viable for years, perhaps even decades. Don't toss those old poppy seeds out in the garbage, scatter them. Since they need to be stratisfied (chilled to simulate winter conditions), toss them on top of a late season snowfall right where you want them to grow. I promise, you'll have your own home-grown poppies blooming next spring...and seeds to harvest and use in cooking once the seedheads have ripened.
pierino August 22, 2016
And also be aware that if you have to pass a drug test for work or whatever the seeds can cause you to test positive for opiates.
Sean R. August 23, 2016
No way! I've always read that they're heated/sterilized before being sold! That is scandalous and I'm going to try this now.....
nutcakes August 16, 2016
They tend to go rancid quickly. If you buy them in a market, after you purchase open it and give a sniff outside the store. If it smells rancid you can return them right away. You will know it smells off. I also find Penzy's always fresh for anything.
Nancy August 16, 2016
For all herbs and spices, you want a place with frequent turnover.
Yes, seeds can go bitter or rancid, or loose some of their flavor if very old (years old).
Ask your nearby WF market about the turnover in their spice section, and act accordingly.
For other than Penzey's online orders, I know of nuts.com and kalustyan.com
Agree with Tiberia about cold storage of seeds (because of their high oil content). Fridge or freezer. When I have the space or a large volume of a seed and won't use it up quickly, I put them in the freezer.
Tiberia August 16, 2016
When I get my poppy seeds (also from Penzey's) I keep them in the fridge.
foofaraw August 16, 2016
I personally love the blue poppy seeds I got from Penzey's Spice.
foofaraw August 16, 2016
Forgot the link https://www.penzeys.com/online-catalog/poppy-seed-whole-blue/c-24/p-1443/pd-s
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