What’s round, comes in different colors, adds flavor and spice to your food dishes, but can sometimes make you cry? If you answered ONIONS, you’re correct!
The Onion is from the genus, Allium which refers to the genus of flowering plants, also called the onion genus. The generic name Allium is Latin for garlic, and includes onions, garlic, chives, and leeks. If you were to break down the genera of allium, you’d find it is one of about 57 genera of flowering plants that have more than 500 species. Suffice it to say, onions can carry their weight and influence in cooking.
Fresh types of onions are recognized most by their color, and are divided into two main categories: green and dry. Green onions are those onions that are harvested before maturity while their shoots are still young and green. You’re probably most familiar with this type as scallions which are the green tops that are used and not just the bulb itself; although the entire onion is often grilled or used in casseroles. Green onions are usually available year round. The Dry category of fresh onions includes onions that are red, white, or yellow in color, referred to as the common onions (or bulb onions). Under the Dry category, onions are further categorized as spring/summer onions which are sweet, or the fall/winter onions which are better for storing. The most common sweet onion (spring/summer) is the Vidalia onion.
Why are onions so healthy for you? Onions contain chemical compounds that have anti-cholesterol, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. The raw onion benefits your health most. Onions will enhance your health and add flavor to your meals.
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