Onion was one of my favourite vegetables as I was growing up and still is. Most people here in North America do not favour onions that much and so whenever I tell them stories of me eating it raw, they get disgusted and with that reaction make me feel not only guilty for liking it, but also less of a fan. However, I cannot get rid of my affection for onions.
I think part of the reason why I love them is because I grew up eating them everyday, in different kind of ways. In Albania, people consider onions a blessing, a wonderful vegetable that not only is incredibly versatile and indispensable in the kitchen, but also tastes good and has medicinal qualities to it. I remember one of my favourite things to eat was a fresh onion and pickled stuff. I loveee pickled stuff of any kind. Another thing we used to do since we did not have much money, we would eat green onions and feta cheese with a little bit of olive oil on the bread. It is one of the tastiest and freshest things to eat, a very good snack during summer.
Today, when I came back from my class, I was famished. So I made myself a quick and simple salad, something that has been my favourite thing to eat since my early days of childhood and also a salad that is very Albanian or Mediterranean I should say. The salad is just cut tomatoes and onions with my addition of fresh, chopped parsley which gives it a refreshing taste. As I took my first bite of a tomato and onion and the combination tasted heavily on my tongue, I was transported back to my days of onion eating and remembered how wonderful onions actually are. So I decided to do some research and learn more about them, taking you along with me...So,it appears that onions are actually one of the oldest cultivated vegetables in the world, found and used everywhere in every region. They were first cultivated by the Egyptians who valued it so much that they not only used it as currency and main meal for the poor, but also as an embalming component, an example of which are two onions found in the eye sockets of Ramseys IV.
Apart from its rich history, onions have mostly fascinated me for their medicinal effects. My mom would give me onions whenever I would get a cold or suffer from tonsils. Another time, I remember that when I sprained my ankle, she cut some onions, put them in a gauze, wrapped it around my ankle and let it sit for a night. The next day I could walk perfectly.
Onions were also used for other medicinal purposes which you can check at the end of this website: http://images.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://www.herbdatanz.com/Onion2A.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.herbdatanz.com/onion_picture_monograph.htm&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;h=458&w=406&sz=27&hl=en&start=47&sig2=oRKEfaCgwFr5VEH7jZOi1g&tbnid=Na2DYcjms0XObM:&tbnh=128&tbnw=113&ei=Is2nRojVJZzwgALp_vWmCg&prev=/images%3Fq%3Donion%26start%3D40%26gbv%3D2%26ndsp%3D20%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN
Wikipedia also gives a pretty good description of onions with a long explanation of the type of the medicinal effects that this wonderful vegetable holds. Plus, the variety of onions that are out there is incredible. The colours, the taste, the type...my goodness how many there are. The following website gives a list of onions but my favourite was the red-looking one called the Florence onion or better known as "Tropea".
Very beautiful, isn't it? Anyway, I will let you browse for yourself and immerse in the pungent, miraculous world of onions.
Now, forgive me but I must go and finish my salad...my onions await me :)!