My big culinary surprise in Israel: poppy seeds are everywhere, disguised, in baked goods.
Now, I like poppy seeds plenty, in their place.
I like them generously sprinkled on bagels, pletzel and challahs. I will even tolerate them in mango dressing and lemon cake.
But I do not eat poppy-seed hamentaschen, and it is a very bad surprise indeed to bite into what you think is some sort of chocolate dessert bar, only to realize that the “chocolate” is poppy. Or, the next night, into a piece of “banana cake,” only to realize that the speckles are not banana, but poppy.
I think my issue is with dry, salty poppy seeds as a condiment (yum) vs wet, mushy poppy seeds as the main event (yuck!).
Why are they so wildly popular over there, anyway???
You will notice I refrained from – in the jolly Purim spirit – calling them “poppy”-lar? ;-)