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 Nutrition and Fun Onion Facts

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Onion Trivia, Poetry, Art

Supposedly, Chicago got its name from the Chippewa word for the wild onions that grow around Lake Michigan. But the French translation from Chippewa is probably wrong. "She-gau-gawnish" is really the word for the wild leek, the ramp.

The biggest onion ever was grown by V. Throup in Silsden, England. It was 10 lbs. 14 oz. - Guinness Book of World Records

The Gulf War ended in an onion field in Basrah.

The two pickled pearl onions you may get in a martini can be grown using specific cultivars, or short-day cultivars, or even by just crowding onions in a field. Short day (southern) cultivars planted in Idaho will start growing bulbs when day-length is 10-12 hours, while the plant is still immature. Other Idaho growers will plant from 80 to 110 pounds of seed in a one-acre field to keep onions crowded and small. (In Ohio, 40,000 big storage onions can be grown on one acre from 3 1/2 pounds of seed.)

The skins of two red onions or yellow storage onions are enough to dye one dozen eggs.

Some people think that a lot of layers in an onion bulb means that it will be a tough winter.

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Onion Breath

  • Use a mouth rinse of half lemon juice, half water
  • Eat an apple
  • Eat more than one sprig of parsley
  • Munch on roasted coffee beans
  • Chew a citrus peel
  • Chew an aniseed or dill seed
  • Suck on a piece of cinnamon or a whole clove

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Allium Gas

There is a solution to the problem of intestinal gas often casued by onions, a dietary supplement sold under the name Beano. You can find it in the pharmacy or health food sections in almost any grocery store. Beano is comprised of the enzyme alpha-galactosidase. Three to eight drops on your first bite of gas-inducing food will help your digestive tract do its job properly. You must put it in your mouth, on food that is no more than lukewarm, or it won't work; the enzyme becomes inactive at 130F.

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Reducing Tears when Chopping

  • Chop fast.
  • Chill the onion first.
  • Cut the bottom of a plastic bag open, and chop inside the bag.
  • Use a sharp knife, so the chopping goes faster.

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Home Remedies

  • Use a slice of onion to relieve insect bites, stinging nettle rashes, and hives.
  • Two ounces of an equal measure of raw garlic and onion juice may restore hearing.
  • Mix hot chamomile tea with onion juice to lighten the hair.
  • Syrup of honey and onion juice will help chest congestion.
  • Inhale freshly cut onions to unclog nasal passages.
  • Apply roasted onions to the chest to relieve coughs.

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Onion Songs

  • "Onion" - By John Lee Hooker
  • "Green Onions" - By Booker T and the MGs
  • "Onion Song" - By Ashford & Simpson, Recorded by Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell (album Let's Get It On)
  • "Onion Skin" - By Farnan
  • "Onion Roll" - Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
  • "Glass Onion" - The Beatles (The White Album)

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Onion Sayings

  • "Mind your business (onions)." - French
  • "Onions are the truffles of the poor." - anonymous
  • "He knows his onions." - anonymous
  • "Eat leeks in March and ramsins in May, and all the year after the physicians may play." - Old English proverb
  • "De soltz vahcksen a zoy vi a tzibele mit dem kop in der erd un mit di fes in der hoykh!" translates as "You should grow like an onion with your head in the dirt and your feet in the air!" - Yiddish curse

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Poetry, Etc.

"Mine eyes smell onions, I shall weep anon." - Shakespeare

According to Richard Folkard, who wrote Plant Lore, Legends and Lyrics in the 19th C., "country lasses used to resort to a method of divination with an onion named after St. Thomas. This they peeled and wrapped in a clean kerchief, then placing it under their heads, they repeated the following lines:

"Good St. Thomas, do me right,
And let my true-love come to-night,
That I may see him in the face,
And him in my fond arms embrace."

"But lest your kissing should be spoil'd."
"Your onions must be thorough boil'd." - Jonathan Swift

"If leekes you like but do their smell disleek,
Eate onyons and you shalle not smelle the leeke.
If you of onyons would the scent expelle,
Eate garlicke, that shalle drowne the onyon's smelle."

- Anonymous

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 raw medium onion (148 grams)
Calories 60
Protein 1 gram
Carbohydrate 14 grams
Total Fat. 0
Saturated Fat 0
Sodium 0  milligrams
Potassium 200 milligrams
Dietary Fiber 3 grams
Vitamin C 15%
Calcium 4%
Iron 2%

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