|watercolor by ana traina ~2012~|
During the Middle Ages onions were worth so much that they were used to pay rent and were given as wedding gifts.
On one trip, Captain James Cook refused to sail until each man in his crew had eaten 20 pounds of onions, because he knew that their high content of vitamin C would prevent scurvy on the long voyage ahead.
The onion was an ancient symbol of eternity because of the concentric circles that it contains. For this reason, Russian and other orthodox churches are designed with onion domes, a bulb-shaped dome with a pointy top.
Turkish legend has it that when Satan was cast out of heaven, garlic sprouted where he placed his left foot, an onion where he placed his right foot.
Countless folk remedies ascribe curative powers to onions: An onion under the pillow is thought to fight off insomnia; and chewing a raw onion sterilizes the mouth and wards off colds and sore throat. During World War II, Russian soldiers applied onions to battle wounds as an antiseptic.
“An honest laborious country-man with good bread, salt, and a little parsley, will make a contented meal with a roasted onion.
—John Evelyn (1620 - 1706), English writer, gardener and diarist.