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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Land Tobiko - Poppy Roe

It's a little late to tell you now, but you can haz pappy roe. Like many esocteric gustatory treats, this treat is only available for a few weeks in any one place. This photo is a month or more old, and shows immature poppy seeds spilt 'pon yon plate. The green seed pod of the breadseed poppy (Papaver icannotrememberensis), can be split asunder to yield these seeds. In sushi or salad, or on top of a hotdog for that matter, the unripe seeds lend snap with a bitter crackle with a flowery aftertaste.

Leave 'em out, and they will begin to yellow and harden, and then it's too late.

The only way to eat these (other than blind-stupid early harvest) is to willingly sacrifice the promise of bagel or pastry with the black-seeded crunch of poppies. The pod cut open to free this caviar will not mature, cannot recover. Scoop out all the seeds and add them to whatever it is you have going that needs a light plantiferous crunch. There will be thousands, but not many.

You cannot buy this, and must grown it. A cold February casting seed. April thinning the progeny. June watching for the big-but-not-mature heads to offer up the bounty. Harvest only what you will eat within the hour. No prep time, but no shelf life either.

The unique snap of exocarp full of liquid so small in volume that it only regesisters as the snap against the skin. Like flying fish eggs - tobiko - this plantiferous roe gives the raw dish a crunch unlike almost anything else.

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