All about onions

Onions of any kind can add wonderful flavour to any dish.

Onions of any kind can add wonderful flavour to any dish.

Frank Ferragine, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:08 PM ET

Life is like an onion. You peel it off one layer at a time; And sometimes you weep. -- Carl Sandburg, American poet

Cooler nights, shorter days the final few days of the Canadian National Exhibition -- as are national fairs across Canada -- all indicate the end of the summer vacation season. However for this boy who grew up in the marsh muck of Bradford Ont. (home of the Holland Marsh with its rich, decadent earth) the falling tops of onions not only told me it was time to go back to school but also they where ready for harvest.

Onions are not the sexiest of vegetable crops but they had wonderful flavour to any meal. From salads, soups, omelets to sauces and dips, onions can be incorporated into any meal. In fact historians date the cultivation of onions back to over 5000 years when they where symbolisms of eternity, and Egyptians buried them along with their Pharaohs.

Onions are high in vitamin C, are a good source a fibre and add on 45 calories per serving. Why do you cry when cutting onions? Onions release a sulfuric compound they makes our eyes well up. To minimize these effects try chilling an onion for 15 minutes in the freezer and cut the root end of the onion last. Bad breath when eating onions? Chase your onions down with by chewing parsley. If you want to get ride of the smell of onions on your hands after chopping them, simply wash your hands with vinegar or lemon juice.

My favourite way to enjoy onions? With a jar of Springridge Farms' Caramelized Onion Relish served over toasted crostini with a sprinkling of sharp Cheddar cheese and some chopped chives. Yum! Check out Springridgefarm.com.

Frank Ferragine is the weather and gardening specialist for Breakfast Television Toronto on Citytv, and appears regularly on CityLine. His first book, Frankie Flowers Get Growing (HarperCollins) is now available. Follow Frank on twitter @frankferragine or e-mail frankieflowers@citytv.com.


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