Onions, seasonings, vegetables and teardrops
Onions have been part of our diet for centuries. Just like leeks, onions are a vegetable, but they are much more important as seasonings. In addition, onions are also a very popular home remedy for all kinds of respiratory infections. Onions are especially healthy. The Egyptians already knew and they were rarely wrong.
- The origin of the onion
- The Greek
- And finally the Romans
- Middle Ages
- Nutritional value of onion
- Onion as a home remedy
- Tears of onion
- How can you keep your eyes from watering when cutting onions:
- Different types, sizes and flavors
- Onions in recipes
- Stuffed Onions
The origin of the onion
The origin of the onion is in the Far East, but it is even more likely that the onion was found on every continent. The first traces can be found of the actual use of the onion as a foodstuff in Asia. The onion was easy to grow and, above all, simple to store. These great benefits made it a popular vegetable. Ancient writings from China from some 5,000 years ago already mention the onion as a crop in the gardens.
Finally, the onion also reached the ancient Egyptians and they raised the onion to a completely different level. The Egyptians saw the onion as a symbol of eternal life, because of the anatomy of the tuber. Onions were given as offerings to the dead, have been found with mummies (the mummy of King Ramses the 4th had onions over his eyes) and have been used as offerings at the various altars of the gods. Various images of onions have been found in the pyramids. Onions were part magical, part medicinal, and part of the ancient Egyptian’s diet.
The Greeks also saw the great potential of the onion. The onion was here too, partly medicinal and also food. The Greek athletes in particular ate loads of onions because they were good for the blood and therefore performance-enhancing. The athletes’ bodies were even rubbed with onion before starting an important competition.
And finally the Romans
The Romans continued to use the onion. The Romans also rubbed their gladiators with onions because this would work wonders for the muscles of the men. But onions were also in the diet of the Romans, vegetable gardens were found in Pompeii in which onions were also grown. Onions were more than that, onions were very good for your digestion, good for dysentery and toothache, excellent anti-inflammatories. The Romans got somewhere once more and perhaps the widespread spread of the onion as part of the European diet started here.
In the Middle Ages, onions were an important foodstuff, along with beans and cabbage. Onions, like cabbage and beans, are easy to grow and store. Ideal vegetables in an era without all the modern food preservation options. The medicinal possibilities were also endorsed by the Middle Ages: good for headaches and baldness.
Nutritional value of onion
The onion has a very long history as a food, offering and its medicinal properties have been recognized for centuries. Onions are one of the most popular seasonings in modern cuisine. What’s in it? As in all vegetables, no fat and few calories. An onion contains a lot of fiber and therefore eating an onion is just as good as a brown sandwich (for the fiber that is). Onions contain many vitamins, especially vitamins C and B, but also folic acid and magnesium. Onions contain antioxidants that attack (bad) free radicals, so that people are better protected against different types of cancer. Onions are good against cardiovascular disease and also prevent respiratory infections.
Onion as a home remedy
The onion has a long history as not only a seasoning and vegetable, but also as a home remedy for minor but troublesome ailments. The Romans also used onions as a remedy for dog bites, which is not the right way to use an onion. Now we sleep with onions on our bedside table when we have a bad cold. We also had cloves in it, but no idea why. Onions are also a great remedy for bad bowel movements.
Tears of onion
Tears when cutting onions, why is that? When you cut an onion, you destroy a number of cell walls and an enzyme called alliinase is released. Finally, with a number of sulfur compounds, alliinase forms syn-propanethial-S-oxide. This compound reacts with the moisture in your eyes and makes a kind of (dilute) sulfuric acid. This irritates the nerves in your eyes and causes them to water.
How can you keep your eyes from watering when cutting onions:
- wet the onion, knife and cutting board first
- cut the onion under water.
- first put the onion in the fridge for half a day
- put on ski goggles
- only breathe through your mouth while cutting
- run the knife through a lemon first
- open a window or door (so ventilate)
- wear contact lenses
- holding a drink of water in your mouth while cutting
Different types, sizes and flavors
Onions come in different shapes, sizes and flavors. Red, yellow and white onions. In addition, the smaller pearl onions and shallots and spring onions. The pearl onions are very small onions that are pickled in vinegar. They are often not available fresh. The Amsterdam onions are slightly larger than the silver onions yellow in color (due to saffron) and inlaid in vinegar and some herbs. Shallots are slightly smaller than regular onions and grow in clumps. Shallots are great in salads and according to many are slightly more refined than the regular onion. Spring onions (spring onions) are very young onions that look great raw, also green. Then you have siepels. No, they are not there, or they are there, but not as a separate species. In the North onions are called siepels. The most famous are on church towers such as in Dwingeloo.
Onions in recipes
Onions are mainly used as a seasoning. In Western Europe there are often up to 2 onions in an average dish, in Eastern Europe consumption is slightly higher. Onions can be fried, dried well, but also cooked. Just do not cook onions for too long because they will lose all flavor. Children in particular often find the taste of onions a little too strong. You could put onions in a bowl of water before use and then pat them dry. Onions are also sometimes put in milk for half an hour, then rinse well and pat dry.
Onions, 4 good ones, clean well and remove the brown skin. Remove a small piece from the bottom otherwise stand ?? they don’t taste good later in the recipe. Boil the onions for half an hour with a little salt. Then let the onions cool slightly. Carefully cut off the top and hollow out the onion.
- 250 grams of minced meat
- the scraps of onion from scooping
- salt, pepper, nutmeg
fry in a frying pan, preferably without butter
Place the onions side by side in a greased ovenproof dish. Fill the onions with the minced meat mixture, if you still have the top, put it back. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the onions with a few lumps of butter and possibly some (old) grated cheese. Another half an hour in an oven at around 175 degrees.