The Onion is believed to have originated in Asia, though it is more likely that the onion had been growing wild on every continent from the beginning of time. I believe that the humble onion is most certainly a gift from God for our continuing benefit. Our ancestors recognized the vegetable's durability and certainly began growing onions for food. Onions today are used in almost every worthwhile recipe creation and the onion now ranks sixth among the world's leading vegetable crops. "We remember the fish we used to eat without cost in Egypt, and the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic" Nm11:5. Onions became important to the Israelites during the captivity in Egypt. The ancient Egyptians worshiped the onion. Onions were represented in many tomb paintings and were even buried with royalty. The ancient Egyptians worshiped the onion, believing that its spherical shape and concentric rings symbolized eternity. The onion became regarded as a cure-all and a dietary necessity for workers building the pyramids. Greek historian Herodotus wrote that Egyptian pharaohs spent nine tons of gold for onions to feed laborers, many of them Israelites. This pungent bulb became integral to the Israeli diet. An onion board-bread dough covered with sauteed onions and poppy seeds and then baked- was traditionally served at the feast of circumcision. Honey-and-onion sandwiches became the workingman's lunch day after day. According to an English Rhyme, the thickness of an onion skin can help predict the severity of the weather. Thin skins mean a mild winter is coming while thick skins indicate a rough winter ahead. As history progressed, folk healers used onions to treat edema, worms, warts, and boils. Onions are known to prevent hair loss and protect against cancer. Boiled or roasted гидра онион are recommended for coughs and colds. The onion reputation in the kitchen is getting better all the time. Americans eat on average 18.8 pounds of fresh and storage type each year. The U.S. produces over 2 million metric tons of onions annually. Onions represent the third largest fresh vegetable industry in the United States. According to the National Onion Association, onion consumption in the United States has increased approximately 50% over the past 20 years. The official state vegetable of Georgia is the Vidalia onion. The official state vegetable of Texas is the Texas Sweet onion. As you can see, the onion has quite a history and a wonderful pedigree. I look for recipes that allow the onion to stand out and make a difference. The onion should bring full flavor to the recipe while not overwhelming the other ingredients. The following recipe is a great onion dish: Caramelized Onions Ingredients: 3 pounds yellow onions (6 to 9 medium onions) Cooking spray, as needed 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed Salt and pepper, to taste Directions: Halve and slice onions. Coat 12-inch skillet with cooking spray. Over medium heat, cook onions in oil for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until soft and golden. Stir in thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Serve warm or cover and chill for up to 5 days. Makes 12 servings. Serving Ideas: Wilted Spinach Salad: Toss crisp fresh spinach leaves with hot caramelized onions, sundried tomatoes and pine nuts. Drizzle with warmed vinaigrette dressing and toss well. Enchilada Stack with an Attitude: Layer a corn tortilla with black or pinto beans, diced bell pepper, dabs of salsa, grated sharp cheddar cheese and a layer of caramelized onions. Repeat layering then top with a third tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese and bake until hot and melted. Smothered Sea Bass: Poach sea bass or other firm white fish and serve on a bed of caramelized onions with a scattering of steamed baby carrots and fresh dill sprigs over all. Royal Stuffed Bakers: Spoon the lavish richness of caramelized onions into baked potatoes instead of the usual butter and sour cream. Sprinkle black pepper over top. Portabella "Steak" and Onions: Grill or sauté thick slices of portabella mushrooms in olive oil and serve with the juices over caramelized onions for a satisfying and surprisingly hearty entrée.