Friday, July 15, 2011

Onion Rings

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.


I spent a good amount of time researching and found very little information on onion rings.

The exact origins of the onion ring are unknown, but in 1933 a recipe for deep fried onion rings that are dipped in milk then dredged in flour appeared in a Crisco advertisement in The New York Times Magazine.

A recipe for French Fried Onions may have appeared in the Middletown, NY Daily Times on January 13, 1910. It does not claim to be the originator of the recipe.

One claimant to the invention of the onion ring is the Pig Stand restaurant chain, founded in Oak Cliff, Texas, in the early 1920s. The once thriving chain, whose heyday in the 1940s saw over 100 locations across the United States, also claims to be the originator of Texas toast.

Onions... Because onions are small and their tissues leave little or no trace, there is no conclusive opinion about the exact location and time of their birth. Many archaeologists, botanists and food historians believe onions originated in central Asia. Other research suggests that onions were first grown in Iran and West Pakistan.

It is presumed that our predecessors discovered and started eating wild onions very early long before farming or even writing was invented. Very likely, this humble vegetable was a staple in the prehistoric diet.

Most researchers agree that the onion has been cultivated for 5000 years or more. Since onions grew wild in various regions, they were probably consumed for thousands of years and domesticated simultaneously all over the world. Onions may be one of the earliest cultivated crops because they were less perishable than other foods of the time, were transportable, were easy to grow and could be grown in a variety of soils and climates. In addition, the onion was useful for sustaining human life. Onions prevented thirst and could be dried and preserved for later consumption when food might be scarce.

While the place and time of the onion's origin are still a mystery, there are many documents, from very early times, which describe its importance as a food and its use in art, medicine and mummification.

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.

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.

Frequently, a priest is pictured holding onions in his hand or covering an altar with a bundle of their leaves or roots. In mummies, onions have frequently been found in the pelvic regions of the body, in the thorax, flattened against the ears and in front of the collapsed eyes. Flowering onions have been found on the chest, and onions have been found attached to the soles of the feet and along the legs. King Ramses IV, who died in 1160 B.C., was entombed with onions in his eye sockets. Some Egyptologists theorize that onions may have been used because it was believed that their strong scent and/or magical powers would prompt the dead to breathe again. 

Other Egyptologists believe it was because onions were known for their strong antiseptic qualities, which construed as magical, would be handy in the afterlife.

Onions are mentioned to have been eaten by the Israelites in the Bible. In Numbers 11:5, the children of Israel lament the meager desert diet enforced by the Exodus: "We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic."

In India as early as the sixth century B.C., the famous medical treatise Charaka - Sanhita celebrates the onion as medicine - a diuretic, good for digestion, the heart, the eyes and the joints.

Likewise, Dioscorides, a Greek physician in first century A.D., noted several medicinal uses of onions. The Greeks used onions to fortify athletes for the Olympic Games. Before competition, athletes would consume pounds of onions, drink onion juice and rub onions on their bodies.

The Romans ate onions regularly and carried them on journeys to their provinces in England and Germany. Pliny the Elder, Roman's keen-eyed observer, wrote of Pompeii's onions and cabbages. Before he was overcome and killed by the volcano's heat and fumes, Pliny the Elder catalogued the Roman beliefs about the efficacy of the onion to cure vision, induce sleep, heal mouth sores, dog bites, toothaches, dysentery and lumbago. Excavators of the doomed city would later find gardens where, just as Pliny had said, onions had grown. The bulbs had left behind telltale cavities in the ground.

The Roman gourmet Apicius, credited with writing one of the first cookbooks (which dates to the eighth and ninth centuries A.D.), included many references to onions.

By the Middle Ages, the three main vegetables of European cuisine were beans, cabbage and onions. In addition to serving as a food for both the poor and the wealthy, onions were prescribed to alleviate headaches, snakebites and hair loss. They were also used as rent payments and wedding gifts.

Later, the first Pilgrims brought onions with them on the Mayflower. However, they found that strains of wild onions already grew throughout North America. Native American Indians used wild onions in a variety of ways, eating them raw or cooked, as a seasoning or as a vegetable. Such onions were also used in syrups, as poultices, as an ingredient in dyes and even as toys. According to diaries of colonists, bulb onions were planted as soon as the Pilgrim fathers could clear the land in 1648.
By http://www.foodreference.com/html/onions-history-of-onions.html

Onion Rings
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
2 medium yellow onions, sliced into rings
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 eggs, beaten
vegetable oil

Directions:
In a dutch oven, preheat oil to 350 degrees. Slice onions into rings and separate rings. In a bowl add eggs. In a separate bowl, add flour, cornmeal and seasoned salt, mix well. Dip onion rings in egg, then add onion rings to flour and making sure to coat each ring. Fry onion rings in batches, making sure not to crowd, for about 4 minutes, until brown and crispy. Remove onion rings with tongs and place on paper towel to drain. Serve hot. Enjoy!



29 comments:

  1. I don't like those readymade onion rings but these I will definately try.

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  2. We all probably need to eat more onions, but unfortunately I cannot bring myself to eat them like an apple! However, fried onion rings are more than welcome. I like the light cornmeal coating here-Yum!

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  3. I would like to try these. I liked the fact that you used the cornmeal. They look light. I have some nice Vidalia's on hand I might try with this recipe. Thanks for posting it!

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  4. I love onion rings!! They are our favorite appetizer to order when we go out!

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  5. Hi Just for Cooking, Vidalia onions would be good with this recipe. If I had vidalia onions on hand, I would have use vidalia onions. Vidalia onions are so good.

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  6. Onions are one of my favorite vegetables! I love them in all preparations - yours look pretty darn good!

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  7. Love the cornmeal...Very Southern!

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  8. My favorite thing to order is onion rings! Thanks for sharing one of my guilty pleasures! =]

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  9. Onion rings are my indulgent food, better than french fries. My grandmother prescribed them-onions, plain and simple-as an aide to lactation!

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  10. I love cornmeal with my onion rings, too! I wish there was a clear claimant for onion rings. As usual, your research was top-notch! Thanks!

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  11. Hi Ann, I wish there was a clear claimant too. Thanks you, Ann!

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  12. Onion rings are alsays a welcome at my dining table! The way you made them is droolworthy!
    You did so much research on Onion rings and onion! Really good info for the readers. Thanks!

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  13. Wonderful background information! I can taste the crunch now...

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  14. These look delicious and I need to try them! I always forget about onion rings!

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  15. delicious looking snack I haven't added cornmeal before we make with gram flour

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  16. Wow you were busy researching, I do love a good onion ring from time to time. They look great.
    -Gina-

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  17. Uhhhh, I love onion rings! My aunt makes exceptional onion rings... and now I have my own recipe! Thanks! :)

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  18. These onion rings look so crispy. I think that the addition of cornmeal to your recipe makes the differece. Thanks for sharing.

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  19. Oh, onion rings are one of my weaknesses...and yours look so crisp and fabulous! Interesting history of onions...especially how revered they were in Egypt!

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  20. You do such great research on the history of foods...so interesting to read about their origins.
    Love the onion rings with the corn meal addition, so crunchy and yummy!!!

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  21. Onion rings are a real treat and vidalias make the best ones. Thanks for all the research yo do.

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  22. Wow, what a great and informative post. I love, love onion rings. Only tried making them once and it was an epic failure. You are inspiring me to try again.

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  23. I love onion rings, but haven't attempted them myself. I've bookmarked this one!

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  24. Such an interesting post! I have not mastered the art of onion-ring-making, but I do love to make them as you can add all sorts of interesting spices to the mix and come out with some cool combos.

    The information on onions was great. I had no idea they had such a history!

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  25. Hey everyone, I wanted to take a moment and thank you all for all the wonderful comments. Comments mean a lot to me.

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  26. I could go for a batch of these onion rings right now!

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  27. Late getting to this one. These look lovely. I do a super unhealthy version so these would be better for me. Thanks for sharing. Kim

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  28. Wow, very nice about the detailed article about food, I like this. And anyway, thank so much for visiting my blog, I really appreciate it super.

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  29. Yum! I bet the cornmeal gives these onion rings a delightful crunch. Thanks for sharing :)

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