Newest Review: ... to the boys to chop or they will get bored and send back massive chunks! *Growing* Onions are quite an easy vegetable to grow, and my... more
Owww my eye!!!
Member Name: 12jane
Advantages: See review
Disadvantages: Brings tears to the eyes
Owww my eye!!!
*The onion- Allium Cepa*
I'm sure we all recognise the onion, a root vegetable with many uses. It is commonly used raw in salads, fried in onion rings, sautéed and boiled, as well as the pickled onion, often seen on the bar in country pubs. Did you know that humans have been eating onions for around 7,000 years? Onions were one of the first plants taken to America by the early settlers.
Allium Cepa is the latin name for the species we call onion, although there are many different varieties. Other varieties of this species are shallots and potato onions. We know that onions come in red and white colours, but did you know that some onions (Egyptian onions) grow in onion trees?
With only 40kcal in 100g of onions, and 89% water content, onions are a great food to add flavour without excessive calories to a meal. Chopped very finely, they are barely noticeable when cooked. (A great way to get extra veg into children who say they hate onions!)
*Owww my eye!*
Yes chopping onions can make the eyes sting and weep. There are many old wives tale's such as sucking a tea spoon or eating bread, to help prevent this. I find the best way is to chop the onions in a space with plenty of fresh air, so by a breezy door is great, or even outdoors. There is a variety of onions which have recently been genetically modified to silence the gene that irritates the eyes, but that doesn't sit well with me, I want proper onions!
I learnt that it was best to cut onions in an open, well ventilated space in my summer job, where I often cut 40+ kg of onions every day! I found that the best way to chop an onion was to use a sharp knife, cut off the top and bottom, peel the onion, cut in half, slice one way, without going right to the edge, then slice the other way. This gets you nice small pieces. And do not send onions to the boys to chop or they will get bored and send back massive chunks!
Onions are quite an easy vegetable to grow, and my family have grown them for years. We always have a few red onions, for eating raw in salads, and white onions for everything else. I love to add fried onions to stir fries, minced beef and tomato sauces, to add some flavour, bulk and thicken the sauces.
Onions grow best in well drained, sandy soil, as with carrots. A low sulphur soil helps keep the onions sweet. They can be purchased as seeds or small plants and should be planted in early spring, in rows 9-12" apart with the plants 2-4" apart. Bulbs begin to grow as the days get longer, so a good sunny summer will produce lovely onions. They are harvested in autumn, dried and stored to eat as required.
Onions are best stored in a cool, dark, dry place, in a mesh bag that is well ventilated. Damp places will cause the onions to quickly rot, plastic will make them sweat and light will make them start to grow. I once put an onion in the fridge before going away and came back to find an onion with a foot long stalk growing from it! Onions should not be stored close to other foods, as they will absorb the smell.
Summary: I love onions, do you?
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