A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Not So Lowly Onion...Is It An Herb?

I was asked a question in my comments yesterday by Patsy, of My Life and Times http://pattypenny.blogspot.com/ Is an onion an herb? I really wasn't sure, but in researching on the web, I found out that it is an herb. An onion is a pungent herb, protecting against infection, relaxing spasms, reducing blood pressure as well as blood clotting and blood sugar levels. It has expectorant and diuretic properties.

I looked further and here is what I found out... An ancient historian, writes of nine tons of gold being spent to purchase enough onions to feed the builders of the pyramids - this suggests the immense popularity of this vegetable in Egypt of the pharaohs. The ancient Egyptians even offered the humble onion bulb as a sacrificial offering to their god, to the great amusement of the conquering Romans. Thus not only was the onion widely used in the ancient world, but also highly valued by some societies. The onion had other uses during the later stages of the Middle Ages when the onion began to be used as a charm against evil spirits and the dangers of the plague - the strong smell of the herb was probably thought to influence and ward off spirits and disease. Who knew?

I buy onions almost every week. I use them in a lot of my cooking. Onion soup, stew, herb bread, dips, a topping for pizza, sage and onion dressing, deep fried onions, sandwiches, green onions with salt I could go on and on. This is one vegetable that I just take for granted. I love the Vidalia Onions, a nice sweet red onion graces my salads, yellow and white are used without thinking for lots of cooking, and the fresh green (scallion) in the spring...about the first vegetable to pop up out of the ground. We are waiting for Spring...wouldn't it be nice to be able to just go out and pull a few onions for our table today?


Sue said...

Herb... Vegetable.... I don't care what category it gets put into- I love me a good onion to flavor my food. :-) Love them on top of my New Mexican cuisine, in my salads, in my sauces.... And to think they're good for me, too~

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Those red onions remind me of the sets I plant in the spring, usually about the third week of March. It seems so long away!


Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Well who knew? It sounds funny now to think something so stinky and that makes one cry was so popular. LOL! I do love them though they do not always return the favor these days. I love your banner Balisha did you make the little towels?

Anonymous said...

I love to cook with onions and I think they are really good for you. Balisha, I went to Walmart today and bought herb seeds. I am going to try and plants them inside. I have done this before but you got me thinking about doing it again. If I can get them started, then I will put them outside when the weather gets warm. I will let you know what happens. lol.

Balisha said...

In 1634 tulip bulbs would cost as much as a house.I got that from the new Wall Street movie...so I guess that onions could have been priceless too.
Some of us like them and some don't.
Judy...good luck with your herb seeds. Balisha

Balisha said...

Hi Lona...No I didn't make the towels. It's a premade header. Balisha

Barbee' said...

Maybe this comment should go under your previous post. I haven't tried growing herbs indoors because our house is so dry due to heating in winter and air conditioning in summer. But, I have had success with chives. They are a bit like little onions. It takes too long from seed for my liking, so I dug up some, potted them up, left them outdoors where they wouldn't get too much rain against the house near the door, let them get some frost a few times, cut back the floppy tops about half and brought them in to a sunny window, watered a little bit now and then. There has been slow response, but last month (Dec.) new growth began. It tries to bloom, I pinch out the tender, succulent bloom stalks while they are still in bud, snip them up completely and use them in various dishes. Sometimes that is enough onion flavor for me; haven't started clipping the foliage yet. Last year I planted a few Egyptian Walking onions. Hope to have enough this year to start using. Tried to grow Tater Onions, but they didn't make it. (I waited too long and the sets got too dried out.) I tried to find a source but she closed her T. onion shop due to drought loss of her parent stock. Anyone know where to get a few starts?

Balisha said...

Barbee...I just checked the web and found that Tater onions has it's own website. http://www.tateronions.com/
I'm going back and read a bit...they sound interesting....also the Egyptian Walking onion is new to me.

Balisha said...

Barbee...I was just thinking that you might like to write a post about your different onions. I have never heard of either one...maybe others would be interested too. Just a thought. Balisha

Barbee' said...

Thank you, Balisha.
Yes, http://www.tateronions.com/ is the site that I corresponded with and you will notice way down near the very bottom of the page she has a note posted and marked with yellow about their problems with their stock. Hopefully, she will have enough to sell come autumn of this year. I don't know about doing a post on them until I have some success growing them. Will see how they go this summer.