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National Onion Day (June 27)

Check out the weird holiday National Onion Day on June 27. Learn about the history of onions, and get ideas on how to celebrate them.

One weird holiday on June 27 is National Onion Day. Check out the other weird June holidays!

As you stand in the kitchen, the familiar aroma wafts through the air, bringing tears to your eyes. You close your eyes for a moment, transported by the scent, memories swirling like wisps of steam from a simmering pot.

Is it the embrace of a loved one, or perhaps the presence of a departed family member? No, it’s the unmistakable fragrance of someone cutting onions, and it makes your eyes water.

Welcome to the world of National Onion Day, where we celebrate the humble yet essential vegetable that holds a special place in our hearts and on our plates.

When is National Onion Day?

National Onion Day takes place each year on June 27th.

Who Invented National Onion Day?

National Onion Day is believed to have been established by the National Onion Association, an organization dedicated to promoting the onion industry and raising awareness about the culinary and nutritional benefits of onions.

National Onion Day is an annual celebration dedicated to honoring one of the most versatile and flavorful ingredients in the culinary world. On this day, food enthusiasts, chefs, and home cooks alike come together to appreciate the humble yet essential onion and its myriad of uses in various cuisines around the globe. From savory dishes to sweet delicacies, the onion’s distinct taste and aroma add depth and complexity to countless recipes, making it a beloved staple in kitchens worldwide.

The History of Onions

The history of onions dates back thousands of years, with evidence of their cultivation and consumption found in ancient civilizations across the globe. Archaeological excavations have uncovered onion remains in Egyptian tombs dating back to 3200 BCE, indicating their importance in the diet and culture of ancient Egyptians. Onions were not only valued for their culinary versatility but also for their medicinal properties, with ancient Egyptians believing that onions could cure ailments ranging from headaches to heart problems.

In addition to ancient Egypt, onions were also cultivated and consumed by other ancient civilizations, including the Greeks and Romans. The Greeks used onions as a symbol of eternity due to their concentric layers, while the Romans incorporated onions into various dishes and traded them extensively throughout their empire. Onions were also an essential staple in the diet of medieval Europe, where they were grown in monastery gardens and used in a wide range of dishes.

During the Age of Exploration, European explorers introduced onions to the Americas, where they quickly became a popular crop among indigenous peoples. Onions were eventually brought to North America by European settlers, where they became a vital ingredient in colonial cuisine. Over time, onions became a staple food item in kitchens around the world, valued for their versatility, flavor, and nutritional benefits.

Today, onions are one of the most widely cultivated and consumed vegetables globally, with hundreds of different varieties grown in various regions. They are used in a wide range of cuisines and dishes, from soups and stews to salads and sandwiches, and continue to play a significant role in culinary traditions and cultural practices worldwide.

The Versatility of Onions in Cooking

The versatility of onions in cooking is unparalleled, as they can be used in a wide variety of culinary applications to enhance flavor, texture, and aroma in dishes from around the world. There is a wide variety of onions. From savory to sweet, raw to caramelized, onions add depth and complexity to a vast array of recipes, making them an indispensable ingredient in kitchens everywhere.

One of the most common ways to use onions in cooking is to sauté or sweat them as a base for soups, stews, and sauces. The natural sweetness of onions is unlocked through the cooking process, lending a rich, savory flavor to dishes like French onion soup, beef stew, and spaghetti sauce. Sautéed onions also serve as the foundation for classic dishes such as risotto, stir-fries, and casseroles, providing a flavorful backdrop for other ingredients to shine.

Raw onions add a sharp, pungent flavor and crisp texture to salads, sandwiches, and wraps, while also providing a burst of color and freshness, but you have to make sure your onion isn’t bad. Sliced or diced onions can be added to green salads, grain bowls, and tacos for a crunchy bite and zesty kick, but sometimes you want to tame their bite. Red onions, in particular, are popular for their vibrant hue and mild flavor, making them a versatile choice for raw applications.

Onions can also be pickled or fermented to preserve their freshness and tangy flavor, creating condiments like pickled onions, relishes, and chutneys. Pickled onions add a tangy, vinegary note to sandwiches, burgers, and charcuterie boards, while also serving as a colorful garnish for tacos, nachos, and barbecue dishes.

Another popular way to enjoy onions is to roast or grill them, which caramelizes their natural sugars and enhances their sweetness and depth of flavor. Roasted onions can be enjoyed as a side dish, added to salads and sandwiches, or used to top pizzas and flatbreads. Grilled onions are a classic accompaniment to burgers, hot dogs, and kebabs, adding smoky, charred notes to grilled meats and vegetables.

Sometimes when you cook, you don’t need an entire onion, so learn how to store half an onion. Just be careful how you cut your onion!

Health Benefits of Onions

Onions are not only prized for their culinary versatility but also for their impressive array of health benefits. Packed with essential nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals, onions offer a wide range of advantages that contribute to overall well-being and may help reduce the risk of various chronic diseases.

One of the key health benefits of onions is their rich antioxidant content, which includes compounds like quercetin, flavonoids, and sulfur-containing compounds. These antioxidants help combat oxidative stress and neutralize free radicals in the body, which can reduce inflammation and protect cells from damage. By reducing inflammation, onions may help lower the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Onions are also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, and potassium. Vitamin C is essential for immune function, collagen production, and wound healing, while vitamin B6 plays a crucial role in metabolism, brain health, and neurotransmitter synthesis. Folate is important for cell division and DNA synthesis, making it especially vital during pregnancy for fetal development. Potassium is an electrolyte that helps regulate fluid balance, muscle function, and blood pressure.

Additionally, onions contain unique sulfur compounds, such as allicin and allyl sulfides, which have been shown to have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. These compounds may help fight against infections, boost immune function, and promote digestive health by supporting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.

Research suggests that regularly consuming onions as part of a balanced diet may have several specific health benefits. For example, studies have found that onion consumption may help lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Onions may also have anti-cancer properties, with some research indicating that they may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, including colorectal, stomach, and prostate cancer.

Furthermore, onions have been associated with improved respiratory health and may help alleviate symptoms of asthma and other respiratory conditions. Their anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce airway inflammation and improve lung function, leading to easier breathing and better respiratory outcomes.

Overall, onions are a nutrient-dense, flavorful addition to any diet, offering a wide range of health benefits that support overall well-being and longevity. Whether eaten raw, cooked, or incorporated into various dishes, onions can be a delicious and nutritious addition to a healthy lifestyle.

How to Grow Onions

Growing onions is a rewarding and relatively straightforward process, making them an ideal addition to any home garden. Whether you have ample outdoor space or limited room for gardening, onions can be grown successfully in a variety of settings, from backyard plots to container gardens.

To grow onions, start by selecting the right type of onion for your growing conditions and culinary preferences. Onions come in different varieties, including short-day, intermediate-day, and long-day onions, which are suited to different climates and day lengths. Choose a variety that is well-suited to your region and the length of your growing season.

Onions can be grown from seeds, sets (small bulbs), or transplants, depending on your preference and the time of year. If starting from seeds, sow them indoors in early spring, about 8-10 weeks before the last frost date in your area. Transplants can also be purchased from nurseries or garden centers and planted directly into the garden once the soil has warmed up.

When planting onions, choose a sunny location with well-drained soil. Onions prefer loose, fertile soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Prepare the planting area by loosening the soil and incorporating compost or organic matter to improve fertility and drainage.

Plant onion sets or transplants about 1 inch deep and 4-6 inches apart in rows spaced 12-18 inches apart, unless you are bunching them. If planting from seeds, sow them thinly and cover lightly with soil. Water the newly planted onions, especially sets and transplants, thoroughly to settle the soil and encourage root development.

As onions grow, keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Onions have shallow root systems and are sensitive to drought, so regular watering is essential, especially during dry periods. Mulching around the plants can help conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.

Onions are relatively low-maintenance plants but may benefit from occasional fertilization throughout the growing season. Side-dress onions with a balanced fertilizer or compost when they reach about 6 inches tall and again when they begin to bulb up.

Monitor the plants for pests and diseases, such as onion thrips, onion maggots, and fungal diseases like downy mildew and white rot. Practice good garden hygiene by removing any infected or infested plants promptly and rotating crops to prevent the buildup of pests and diseases in the soil.

Harvest onions when the tops have begun to yellow and fall over. Carefully lift the bulbs from the soil and allow them to dry in a warm, well-ventilated area for a week or two before storing them in a cool, dry place. Properly cured onions or even dried onions can be stored for several months and enjoyed fresh in your favorite recipes throughout the year.

Celebrating National Onion Day

National Onion Day is an opportunity to celebrate this humble yet indispensable vegetable in all its glory. Here are some ideas for how to commemorate the occasion:

  • Cooking Contests: Host a cooking competition featuring dishes that highlight the versatility of onions. Invite participants to showcase their creativity with onion-centric recipes, and award prizes for the most innovative and delicious creations. Scroll down for a list of recipes you can choose from!
  • Onion Tasting Event: Organize a tasting event where participants can sample different varieties of onions, from sweet Vidalia onions to pungent red onions. Provide educational resources on the various types of onions and their culinary uses.
  • Farmers Market Visit: Visit a local farmers market to explore the abundance of fresh onions available. Chat with farmers about their growing practices and learn about the different onion varieties grown in your region. Purchase some onions to take home and incorporate into your favorite recipes.
  • Onion-themed Potluck: Host a potluck dinner where guests bring dishes featuring onions as the star ingredient. Encourage everyone to share their recipes and cooking tips, fostering a sense of community and culinary exchange.
  • Charitable Initiatives: Partner with local food banks or shelters to donate onions and other fresh produce to those in need. Use National Onion Day as an opportunity to give back to the community and promote access to nutritious food for all.

National Onion Day is a time to celebrate the culinary versatility, health benefits, and cultural significance of onions. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice cook, there are countless ways to incorporate onions into your meals and appreciate their unique flavors. From savory soups to succulent caramelized onions, let National Onion Day inspire you to explore the endless possibilities of this humble yet extraordinary vegetable.

Recipe Ideas for National Onion Day

Here’s a list of recipes where onions are the main feature for you to try out on National Onion Day.

Easy Southern Fried Onion Rings Recipe | gritsandpinecones.com
Sweet Pickled Red Onion Recipe – Suburbia Unwrapped
Carabaccia (Tuscan Onion Soup) – Inside The Rustic Kitchen
Glazed Cipollini Onions with Rosemary – Life, Love, and Good Food
Roasted Stuffed Onions | Gourmandelle
Red Onion Gravy – Vikalinka
Pickled Jalapenos & Onions – Flavorful Eats
Mexican Pickled Red Onions (Quick and Easy) – The Sassy Foodie
Cheesy Onion Casserole – Cooking With Carlee
Instant Pot French Onion Soup | Tested by Amy + Jacky
Easy Siboyo Tempera Recipe from Aruba
Vegan Onion Tart (Pie) – German Zwiebelkuchen – Ve Eat Cook Bake
Vidalia Onion Bacon Cheeseburger – Perfect On The Grill!
Copycat Panera French Onion Soup – Art From My Table
One Pot French Onion Pasta – Curry Trail
Confit d’Oignon or French Onion Marmalade – That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Caramelized Onion, Bacon, and Arugula Mac and Cheese – Buttered Side Up
The BEST Caramelized Onion Dip | Montana Happy
Onion Gravy – Sauce Fanatic
Sweet Onion Dip | Coffee With Us 3
Roasted Onions (Muffin Pan Method) – From A Chef’s Kitchen
French Onion Soup Recipe (instant pot) – Two Kooks In The Kitchen
French Onion Ground Beef Casserole – Beef Bake & Crunchy Fried Onions
Traeger Smoked French Onion Soup {Rich + Delicious} – Crave The Good
Onion Bhaji / Onion Pakora Recipe with Video | TheBellyRulesTheMind
Caramelized Red Onion Chutney – Milk and Pop
Cripsy Homemade Air Fryer Onion Rings Recipe
Homemade Onion Strings eat as an appetizer or use as a topping
Easy Onion Strings ~ Crispy Burger Topping – Miss in the Kitchen
Beer and Bacon Jam – great on burgers, steak or grilled meats!
Easy Cucumber Onion Salad Recipe – The Urben Life
Vidalia Onion Dip – Creamy, Cheesy, Easy! | Southern Food and Fun
Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions • The Good Hearted Woman
Marinated Sumac Onions Recipe | Hilda’s Kitchen Blog
Creamed Onion Gratin – Craving California
Crispy Fried Onions – My Morning Mocha
Extra Crispy Beer Batter Onion Rings Recipe {video} – An Edible Mosaic™
Mustard Grilled Onions – BBQing with the Nolands
Oven Roasted Red Onions – Vanilla Bean Cuisine
Gluten-Free Baked Onion Rings | Garden in the Kitchen
French Onion Pasta (One Pot) – Health My Lifestyle
One Pot French Onion Pasta Recipe
Baked Sweet Onions | Syrup and Biscuits
How to Make German Onion Pie | Zwiebelkuchen
Cream Of Onion Soup – Homemade In The Kitchen
Perfectly Tangy Pickled Red Onions | Paleo Scaleo
How to Caramelize Onions – The Short Order Cook
Homemade Onion Soup Mix – Beyond The Chicken Coop
Southern Vidalia Onion Casserole | The Kitchen is My Playground
Ragi Pakoda / Finger Millet fritters – Lathi’s Kitchen
Turkish Sumac Onions Recipe (Marinated Red Onion Salad) – Spoons Of Flavor
Caramelized Onion Dip with Labneh – Fresh Flavorful
Traditional Pickled Red Onion & Habanero Salsa – One Happy Housewife
Julia Child’s French Onion Soup Recipe – Christina’s Cucina
Onion Relish – LovingHomeschool.com
Georgia Famous Pan Fried Onion Dip Recipe (A Southern Classic)
Instant Pot French Onion Pot Roast – Eating in an Instant
Onion Gratin with Fresh Herbs – Nourished Kitchen
Quick Pickled Vidalia Onions – Home at Cedar Springs Farm
Instant Pot French Onion Soup
Sweet Onion and Citrus Dressing – Cooking with Curls
Tennessee Onions Recipe – Food Lovin Family
Easy & Quick Mexican Pickled Onions (cebollas Curtidas) | Mexican Made
The Crispiest Vegan Air Fryer Onion Rings (Better Than Using Eggs!) –
Cuisine And Travel
Bacon Onion Jam – Chili Pepper Madness
Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Tartlets – The Food Hussy
Creamy Caramelized Onion Chicken – The Roasted Root
Easy French Onion Soup with Lager | The Food Blog
Kouneli Stiffado or Moschari Stiffado – Kopiaste..to Greek Hospitality
Homemade French Onion Soup with Beef Stock – Scotch & Scones
Recipe for the BEST Hot Onion Dip – One taste and you will be hooked
How to Grill Onions: 3 Ways – In the Kitch
The Best Homemade French Onion Soup – A Foodcentric Life
Easy Pickled Red Onion Recipe » Homemade Heather
Easy Sweet Onion Sauce Recipe [Video] – Masala Herb
Sumac Onions (Marinated Red Onion Salad) – Non-Guilty Pleasures
Caramelized Onion Tart | Craving Something Healthy
Indian onion salad- laccha pyaz – Greenbowl2soul
Caramelized Onion Salad | Bunsen Burner Bakery
Italian Braised Onion Sauce (il Friggione) with Pasta. – The Pasta Project
Loaded Caramelized Onion Dip Recipe – Piper Cooks
French Onion Soup – Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Pickled Red Onion – Feasting not Fasting
Mac And Cheese With French Fried Onions – Dancing Through the Rain
French Onion Tarte Tatin – Baking Sense®
Easy Vegetarian French Onion Soup – Pinch and Swirl
Whole Roasted Onions In Foil – Bite On The Side

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