Know your onions

0onionI am worried. You see, I think I know my onions: I know where I stand in life. And that is great. But recently, I have been saddened about the vast number of souls who are still looking for theirs. Their onions, that is.

They have been flooding into this humble blog of mine in search for the golden onion. That’s right, hundreds of onion-less people have come here looking for an onion or two. I feel obliged to help them out and put the onion back into opinion. Or as Shakespeare once said:

“What mean you, sir,

To give them this discomfort? Look, they weep;

And I, an ass, am onion-eyed: for shame, Transform us not to women.”

A word of advice then to the onion-eyed among you: personally, I like to cut onions while wearing a snorkel and mask. But if you feel this is too weird, then try cutting them under running water, in a sink full of water, or maybe while you’re having a bubble bath. Another tip is to chew gum and chop onions at the same time. Don’t try this if you are a politician though!

onion_sliceDid you know that the onion is one of the oldest vegetables known to humankind? (Well, that’s if you exclude the shrivelled up something-or-other that lives at the bottom of my rucksack.)

Onions were worshipped by the Ancient Egyptians – yes, they were right up there with cats in terms of divinity! They believed that the roundness and the rings symbolized eternal life. (I’m referring to onions here, people, not cats…) Roman gladiators were rubbed down with onion massage oil to keep their muscles firm (I could definitely see myself doing this on Russel Crowe…). And in the Middle Ages, the economic crisis was averted by using onions to pay your rent with.

Not only are onions beautiful when they flower, they’re useful too! Who would have known?


However, I do have to scold the onion for giving us Brits the wrong mental picture of the French. The once popular Onion Johnny was a farmer from Breton who used to come over to Britain and sell pink onions door-to-door. Wearing a striped shirt and beret, riding a bike covered with necklaces of onions, the Onion Johnny created a stereotypical picture of the French in our minds. Either that – or the French really do look like that!


Who knew that the humble onion was in fact a god-like and powerful vegetable?

No wonder there are so many onion-seekers out there. I hope you have found what you were looking for.

24 thoughts on “Know your onions

  1. Another solution to onion chopping…freeze them for about 20 minutes before chopping. It solidifies the juices and makes them easier to chop.

    I wonder if my landlord would accept onions in lieu of $625 next month?


  2. I just LOVED this post! It contained so much: aroma, gustatory delights, muscles and Russel Crowe, even Shakespeare. And TRUTH.

    A golden Vidalia is a sensory delectation. I have a local grower who brings them to the Farmer’s Market each year when they are in season and they are so sweet you could serve them for dessert. Ahhh. Your post is my foreshadowing today.


  3. I’m crying over this post, onion tears. LOL. Great collection of facts, simply put.

    Funny, onions never make me cry……everything else does.



  4. I did not know my onions when it came to know where that expression actually comes from. I do not want to sound like a know-it-all, but I found this explanation:

    “The crucial fact is that the expression isn’t British but American, first recorded in the magazine Harper’s Bazaar in March 1922. It was one of a set of such phrases, all with the sense of knowing one’s stuff, or being highly knowledgeable in a particular field, that circulated in the 1920s. Others were to know one’s oats, to know one’s oil, to know one’s apples, to know one’s eggs, and even to know one’s sweet potatoes (which appeared in a cartoon by T A Dorgan in 1928). You may notice certain similarities between the substances mentioned, most being foods and most having names that start with a vowel.”

    Hope you don’t mind me including this in my comment. As you know I wrote a post regarding chilli and onion myself the other day, but in a different context. 😉


  5. I use onions in almost everything I cook. If you open them up and put them in the fridge, then you can easily cut them up without the tears.


  6. I love onions but have a tummy ulcer and can’t eat them any more – it’s so sad; my mouth waters when I smell them frying and occasionally I try one small piece- just in case it has no ill effects, but it always does.


  7. Onions unduce full allergic reactions in me, including sneezing. I think if someone rubbed my muscles with onion I would die.


  8. Would you believe I love onions, fried with a little steak and tomatoes, grated in an egg and onion sandwich, sauteed with some wild mushrooms and parsley, all melting and unctuous in french onion soup, plenty in an Irish stew and the best of all – in a Dublin coddle – which is sausage and rasher (bacon) and onion/potatoes stew – a stable of Dubliners in years gone by and poplular again as the recessionary times hit hard! We love our onions in this house and the above is what I like – won’t even begin to go on about why the bipeds like!!


  9. Nice information on the onions. Oooo I love onions. Simple frying with eggs and onions and a little of salt goes well with rice. Sardine with onions is yummy too. 🙂


  10. If you truly, indistputably know your onions Ladyfi, you’re more decisive than I am. I am fairly confident and happy with myself, but always open to looking around corners.

    Flexible thinking is my bag. It can open up vistas.

    Onions are a very rounded vegetable, and almost indispensable. But I don’t like getting caught up in the trap of ever diminishing circles. Or, perhaps the onion’s rings are ever expanding?

    My goodness. I think I’ll make a cuppa.
    June in Oz


  11. Do people come to you looking for their onions? That’s a lot of responsibility. And the French totally look like that so they should just stop resisting stereotypes and admit it!


  12. Tip of the day:

    No need for cyclops. All you need is contact lenses and no more crying. Thats what I discovered way back when I started using contacts. Either that or some conspiracy theory that they stopped using “crying material” in onions at the same time?

    I do however really think that it’s the contacts…maybe…possibly?


  13. The last time I saw a French guy with his bike selling onions across the Manche was in Dorset. At lunch times he would put his bike in a van and drive off.


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