General Description

The familiar and popular onion is a bulb of Allium cepa, a low growing plant. Botanists classify it in either the lily family or the amaryllis family.

Geographical Sources

Onions are grown world-wide, including the United States.

Traditional Ethnic Uses

Onions are popular everywhere and are used as both a condiment and a vegetable in almost any savory food.

Taste and Aroma Description

Fresh onions are pungent and have a sharp bite. Cooked onions lose this heat and develop a rich sweetness.

History/Region of Origin

Onions have been grown since before recorded history. They were fed to workers building pyramids and were found in the tomb of King Tut. Onions are noted in the Bible as one of the foods most longed for by the Israelites after leaving Egypt for the Promised Land. They have been enjoyed by most cultures throughout history. Christopher Columbus brought Onions with him to the Americas. Their popularity quickly spread among native American cultures.

Storage Tips

Store in cool, dark, dry places.

A Few Ideas to Get You Started

Use Onions in almost anything except sweets! Dried Onion can be added straight to liquids, but should be rehydrated before being added to drier dishes such as casseroles and stir-fries. Rehydrating them also increases potency. Onions make the perfect foundation for meats, poultry, soups, salads, and stews. Dried Onions release flavor more rapidly than freshly chopped Onions when added to a recipe.