R E D O N I O N
Red onions are a variety with many sub-varieties. They have red-colored paper surrounding purple-trimmed white flesh. They are generally sweet and mild.
Onions are one of the oldest vegetables known to mankind and have long been used for culinary and medicinal purposes. Depending on the variety, an onion can be sharp, spicy, tangy, pungent, mild or sweet.
As onions are sliced their cells walls are broken, releasing sulphenic acids which produce a gas which famously irritates the eyes. Ways to minimize irritation include chopping the onions under water, rinsing onions with water before chopping, cutting onions using a sharp knife, refrigerating or freezing it before cutting, fanning air away from the eyes or wearing goggles.
H E A L T H B E N E F I T S
Onions are a very nutritious food and can be used to alleviate a wide variety of ailments. They contain chemical compounds which are believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cholesterol, anti-cancer and antioxidant properties and aid in alleviating conditions like the common cold, heart disease, and diabetes. Onions may be especially helpful for women who are at risk for osteoporosis as they have compounds that destroy osteoclasts that break down bone.
It should be noted that recent evidence indicates that dogs, cats, and other animals should NOT be given onions as they are toxic to their systems.
H I S T O R Y
The first use of onions were traced to the Bronze Age, around 5000 BC. Ancient Egyptians placed onions in the eye sockets of dead pharaohs to encourage reawakening in the afterlife. Ancient Grecian athletes would eat them to thin out their blood. Roman gladiators rubbed themselves with onion to tighten their muscles. In the Middle Ages people used onions to pay for their rent and gave them as gifts. They were introduced to North America by Christopher Columbus on his 1492 expedition.
S E L E C T I O N & S T O R I N G
Select onions that are firm, without dark pits or soft spots. Onions can be stored for months in cool dark spaces.
P R E P T I P S
Onions are often combined with garlic and oil or butter and used as a base for a sautée. Cooking onion at a low heat for a long period of time caramelizes the vegetable, making it very sweet. They can also be used to flavor roasts, soups, stews, curries, or used raw as a condiment and incorporated into salads and sandwiches.
R E C I P E S
How to Caramelize Onions • Roasted Red Onions with Butter, Honey, and Balsamic Vinegar • Pickled Red Onions • Balsamic-Glazed Red Onions • French Red Onion Soup • Grilled Cornbread Salad with Red Onions, Arugula, and Red Wine Vinaigrette • Three-Bean Salad with Red Onion and Red Bell Pepper • Buffalo Burgers with Pickled Onions and Smoky Red Pepper Sauce • Filets Mignons with Mustard Port Sauce with Red Onion Confit • Red Onion Sauerkraut
A D D I T I O N A L I N F O