My kitchen always has a good selection of vegetables in stock (or being turned into stock ), but there is one type of vegetable which if I don’t have then “kitchen, we have a problem“.
The humble onion is possibly the king of veggies, since it is used everywhere and by everyone to impart its sweet, savoury, tangy flavour. Once I started thinking about it, it becomes hard to find a dish where onions aren’t a big part.
The human race has cultivated and eaten onions for thousands of years, and they have permeated the taste buds of the whole planet…no mean feat for something that makes you cry when you cut into it!
Think of any major cuisine which actually avoids onions…no? Funny I can’t either. Whether French, Indian, Chinese or Mexican, no onion…no can do.
Be it white, red, sweet, Spanish, shallot or the spring variety (scallions), without them our eating pleasure would be severely affected. Can you imagine a world without them? No pickled onions for your ploughman’s lunch? No crispy onion rings?
The French have a reputation for one of the most sophisticated cuisines in the world and so revered is the onion there that they have based there national soup around them.
Almost all other nations of the world have an image of the French dressed in Breton shirts, berets and riding around on a bicycle in the guise of…you guessed it, an onion seller!
If that isn’t a recommendation then I don’t know what is…
I have heard about people who can eat onions like apples. I wouldn’t go quite that far, but I love them. Whether lifting a salad to a whole new level, being crispy fried as a garnish or slowly softened so their mellow flavour infuses into a pasta sauce, there really is nothing to touch them.
I am going off to shed a tear or two for the onion…but they will be tears of joy!
What do you think? Can you think of any other foodstuff that can match the onion for versatility?