There are many onion varieties too numerous to detail. Besides the health benefits of the “onion”, the history associated with this unique food is interesting.
How has the onion enriched our lives? The cultivated onion was introduced by Christopher Columbus in North America on his 1492 expedition, but he found that there was a strain of wild onions already growing through North America. Native Americans used them in a variety of ways, from cooking with them, eating them raw, and as seasoning in their food dishes. They also used them as poultices (made by grinding dried onion to a fine powder and mixing with oil and applying it to the specified area of the body). They were also used as an ingredient in dyes by Native Americans.
It was during 1648 that the Colonists planted bulb onions they brought from England on the Mayflower as soon as the land was cleared and ready for planting the crop. The rest they say is history…onion history over the centuries. From Bible times to Pliny the Elder responsible for cataloguing Roman belief that the onion would cure vision, heal mouth sores, toothaches, and even lumbago, to the first Roman cookbooks (8th or 9th centuries), using them in WWII as an antiseptic, to the herbalists today proclaiming the onion as a natural preventative healer. Here’s to the onion!
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