Onions are a kitchen staple. There are many varieties, but for cooking purposes, onions are pretty much interchangeable. Strongly flavored, onions have a strong bite that decreases as they are cooked. Try slicing them raw into salads, pickling, or adding them to soups, stews, or casseroles.
Onions grew in Chinese gardens as early as 5000 years ago and they are referenced in some of the oldest Vedic writings from India. In Egypt, onions can be traced back to 3500 B.C. By the Middle Ages, the three main vegetables of European cuisine were beans, cabbage and onions. In addition to serving as a food for both the poor and the wealthy, onions were prescribed to alleviate headaches, snakebites and hair loss. They were also used as rent payments and wedding gifts. Native American Indians used wild onions in a variety of ways, eating them raw or cooked, as a seasoning or as a vegetable. Such onions were also used in syrups, as poultices, as an ingredient in dyes and even as toys.
Onions, like all members of the allium family, are rich in sulfur-containing compounds which help prevent cancerous cells from growing. Though onions have not been as thoroughly researched as other alliums (such as garlic), there is strong evidence that these sulfur-compounds may also act in anti-clotting capacity and help reduce cholesterol. Similar research has shown that the same sulfur-compounds may aid in supporting bone density and may decreasing chronic inflammation.
Storing & Cooking Information
Handling: To peel, cut a thin slice off both ends, then make a shallow cut from one end to the other, just through the skin and top layer of flesh; peel off both together.
Storage: Onions should be stored in a cool, dry and ventilated place. Warmth and moisture will cause sprouting. Store cut onion in air tight container in fridge and use quickly. Onions and potatoes should be stored separately in a dry, dark place in paper bags, boxes, or baskets. If stored in a dry cool place (50 to 60 degrees), they will keep for months.