First organized cultivation of onions started in Asia some 5,500 years ago. They quickly spread around the world, and became popular for their medicinal value and ease of storing in the winter.
Onions are very healthy to eat. They are filled with complex sugars that keep our metabolism healthy, vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, beta carotene, folate (one of the B vitamins), and they have no fat.
Onions are some of the oldest vegetables that were used by the first modern civilizations. They were grown in ancient Egypt, where their spherical internal structure was believed to be a symbol of eternal life (because of that they were important part of burial ceremonies).
One average sized onion has 30 calories.
For more than 2000 years, ancient texts from Egypt, Greece and India talk about powerful abilities of onion as sexual aphrodisiac. For example Egyptian celibate priest were forbidden to eat onion because of the onions effect on their libido. In medieval Europe, onion was traditionally consumed by newlyweds on the morning after their wedding night.
Largest onion ever grown weighted around 5kg.
Strong odor of onions can make us cry (various sulfuric compounds), but you can prevent that effect by employing several tactics. Some of the most popular ones are chewing gum, eating bread (calms the nerves sometimes), lighting a candle, cut onions under the cold running water or splashing a little white vinegar on the cutting board before starting to work with onions
Onions are currently 6th most popular vegetable crop in the world, judging only by its production.
Onion juice is a very potent medicinal remedy that was used regularly over the last few thousand years by healers. Onion is strong antiseptic (during several famous wars, onions were used in extreme quantities to disinfect soldier wounds), and can also be used to increase blood circulation by applying it to the skin. For example if your feet are cold, just rub them with chopped onion and increased blood flow will quickly warm your feet up.
Athletes and soldiers in ancient civilizations used onion as a source of power. They believed that eating (Greek soldiers or athletes) or rubbing it on the skin (roman gladiators) can give them more strength and speed of movement.
Yellow onion is the most popular type of onion. It takes staggering 75% of the world’s onion production.
Onions come in many shapes and colors. Most popular ones are yellow onions, white onions, brown onions, red onions and pickling onions.
Consumption of onions in the United States rose 50% in the last 20 years. Currently, average American eats 8.5 kg of fresh onions each year.
You can get rid of onion breath by eating fresh parsley.
After the fall of ancient empires of Egypt, Greece and Rome, home of European onion production remained in Italy. From there this great vegetable spread across entire Europe, and after Age of Sail, across entire world.
Over 9,000,000 acres of fertile land is currently used for production of onion, and only 8% of global production is intended for trade. In 2012, worldwide production of onions reached 74 million tons, with China, India, United States and Egypt as largest producers.