Origin of Onion
Onions grew in Chinese gardens as early as 5000 years ago and they are referenced in some of the oldest Vedic writings from India. In Egypt, onions can be traced back to 3500 B.C. There is evidence that the Sumerians were growing onions as early as 2500 B.C. One Sumerian text dated to about 2500 B.C. tells of someone plowing over the city governor's onion patch.
Onions in Egypt
In Egypt, onions were actually an object of worship. The onion symbolized eternity to the Egyptians who buried onions along with their Pharaohs. The Egyptians saw eternal life in the anatomy of the onion because of its circle-within-a-circle structure. Paintings of onions appear on the inner walls of the pyramids and in the tombs of both the Old Kingdom and the New Kingdom. The onion is mentioned as a funeral offering and onions are depicted on the banquet tables of the great feasts - both large, peeled onions and slender, immature ones. They were shown upon the altars of the gods.
National cancer Institute
onions continue to be an important part of our diet. The National Cancer Institute has reported that onions contain antioxidants that help block cancer and appear to lower cholesterol.
Onions come in three distinct colors: white, yellow and red. The varieties can be classed into three important groupings: short day, intermediate day and long day varieties. These groupings refer to the number of hours of sunlight required to get the onion to bulb. Short Day onions require 10-12 hours of sunlight and are used in the South for winter production. Because Short Day onions have a higher concentration of water as opposed to solid fiber content, they do not store well and should be eaten fresh. Intermediate Day onions require 12-14 hours of sunlight and are ideal for almost all growing areas in the United States. Long Day onions require 14-16 hours of sunlight and grow better in northern states where there are extended hours of daylight during the summer months. Long Day varieties typically have more pungent flavor and store better than other varieties.