Garden vegetables – Onion Trivia

Onion Trivia

The onion is believed to have originated in Asia, though it is likely that onions may have been growing wild on every continent. Dating back to 3500 BC, onions were one of the few foods that did not spoil during the winter months.

The ancient Egyptians worshipped the onion. They believed that its spherical shape and concentric rings symbolized eternity.

      • 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.
      • The average American consumes over 20 pounds of fresh onions per year?
      • Over 380 truckloads of onions are used each day.
      • Libya uses the most onions with 66.8 pounds of onions consumed per person each year.
      • World onion production is estimated at approximately 105 billion pounds each year.
      • The Guinness Book of World Records, has the largest onion ever grown weighing in at 10 pounds 14 ounces. It was grown in England.
      • There are 30 calories in an onion.
      • Yellow, white and red are the three colors of onions sold in most grocery stores. Yellow are used more for cooking, White are sweeter and used in salads more and red are sweet and used in salads and for decoration.
      • Yellow onions make up over 80 percent of the onion crop in America.
      • 142,000 acres of onions are planted in United States each year but there are less than 1,000 onion farmers in the United States.
      • According to an old English Rhyme, the thickness of an onion skin can help predict the severity of winter. Thick skins mean a bad winter. Thin skins predict a mild winter.
      • During the American Civil War, General Ulysses S. Grant sent a telegram to the War Department, “I will not move my army without onions.” The next day he got them.
      • Onions are used for cleaning some surfaces. They are also used for insect control both as a plant and as a liquid mixed insecticide in gardens.
      • Vidalia Sweet onions are only “true” Vidalia onions if they are grown in Vidalia Georgia.

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      2 responses to “Garden vegetables – Onion Trivia”

      1. Wendy Brannen

        Thanks for including our Vidalias in your onion trivia. Here’s another trivia note–did you know it’s the high water content and not the sugar content in Vidalias that really makes them so sweet? (That, and South Georgia’s climate and soil!). Check out our website for some tasty sweet Vidalia recipes,

        W. Brannen
        Executive Director
        Vidalia Onion Committee

      2. admin

        I knew it was the climate and soil, but I didn’t know about the water content. I actually had a friend to tried to grow the Vidalia onion here in Pa and I told them they would not be true Vidalia’s. And they weren’t 😉 They were bitter! Denise

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