Cultivation of the onion is believed to have begun in Asia around 3500 B.C.,
However, wild onions grow on nearly every continent. Onions are one of the few
vegetables that can easily be stored for the winter. As such, the onion's popularity
quickly spread to many cultures.
The onion was worshipped by ancient Egyptians. They believed that its spherical
shape and concentric rings symbolized eternity.
Today, onions rank sixth among the world's leading vegetable crops in terms of
overall production. In the U.S., onions are rank third in overall vegetable
According to the National Onion Association, U.S. Onion consumption has
increased 50% in the last 20 years.
In old English folklore, the thickness of an onion skin can help predict the severity
of the winter. A Thin skin predicts a mild winter while a thick skin indicates a
rough winter is coming.
Sulfuric compounds in the onion is what makes your eyes tear when cutting
onions. To cut down on the crying, chill the onion and cut into the root end of the
onion last. You can also run water while cutting an onion.
Eating fresh parsley can get rid of "onion breath."
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest onion ever grown
weighed 10 lbs 14 oz and was grown by V. Throup of Silsden, England.
Americans eat 18.8 pounds of fresh onions on average each year.
During the American Civil War an onion shortage prompted, General Ulysses S.
Grant to send a telegram to the War Department, "I will not move my army
without onions." He was immediately shipped three train cars full of onions. In
addition to using onions to spice up meals, it was believed the onion had antiseptic
properties that could treat wounds.
There are about 30 calories in the average whole onion.
Yellow onions make up more than 75% of the world's production of onions.
The U.S. produces well over 2 million metric tons of onions annually.There are
approximately 160,000 acres dedicated to onion production United States.
However, there are less than 1,000 onion farmers in all of the United States.
In the United States, California produces the largest bulb onion crop, much of
which is used for dehydrated onion products. The total U.S. onion crop was
harvested from 160,610 acres in 1996 with a total yield of 61,568,000 cwt (average
yield = 383 cwt/acre), and a total value of $589,938,000.
World onion production is estimated at approximately 105 billion pounds each
year. The average annual onion consumption calculates to approximately 13.67
pounds of onions per person across the world. Libya has the highest consumption
of onions with an astounding average per capita consumption of 66.8 pounds.
-National Onion Association
The official state vegetable of Georgia is the Vidalia onion.
The official state vegetable of Texas is the Texas Sweet onion.