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Onions history and their different types

In this article, we examine the types of onions and their history. Most researchers believe that onions history back 5,000 years or more. Many archaeologists, botanists and food historians believe that onions originated in Central Asia. Other research shows that onions were first grown in Iran and West Pakistan. Our ancestors discovered wild onions very early and started eating them. Most likely, this vegetable has been a major component of the prehistoric diet. Onion was one of the first crops because it was less perishable than other foods of the time, portable, easy to grow, and can be grown in a variety of soils and climates. In addition, onions were useful for maintaining human life. Onions quench thirst and can be dried and stored for later use if food is scarce.

History of onions and its types

With the beginning of the organization and cultivation of onions around 3500 BC, the ancient civilizations that used it soon became dependent on this vegetable. Onions grew easily in any type of soil and in any type of climatic ecosystem and could be easily stored in winter.

For all the benefits of onions, it was no surprise to see that the vegetable quickly entered the religious rites of several ancient civilizations. In Egypt, where the onion was a symbol of immortality, endless life and part of the burial (especially in the burial of the pharaohs). The Egyptians painted onions on the walls of buildings, pyramids, tombs, and used them at every meal, celebration, and vow to the gods. Onions were also an important part of the Egyptian embalming process.

Different types of onions

Yellow onion

Suitable for: all recipes

If a recipe does not specify what type of onion to use, your safest choice is a yellow onion. Yellow onion is the standard cooking onion and they are medium to large in size, on average 5-10 cm in diameter and spherical with rounded ends and slightly conical. Yellow onion has a crisp and spicy taste when raw, and when cooked, it has a pleasant and mild taste with sweet undertones.

Sweet onion

Suitable for: salads, all kinds of condiments

These onions are great for use as a seasoning and cook, they are also very sweet. They have a lighter and duller skin color than yellow onions.

Red onion

Red onions are generally used in salads and sandwiches because of their attractive purple color and also It would be a peppery and spicy taste which recommended for roasting, grilling and pickling.

White onion

Suitable for: spicy foods and barbecue

White onions are commonly found in salads (potato and pasta salads) and traditionally in spicy foods such as Mexican food. It is also usually served with kebabs and pickles.

Green Onion

Suitable for: cooking and food decorating

Green onions can be eaten cooked or raw. Green onions are popular in Chinese and Mexican cuisine. In Chinese cuisine, onions are used in french fries, soups, stews and fried foods. Green onions have a milder taste than regular onions.

The largest onion producing countries in the world

  1. China 20,507,759
  2. India 13,372,100
  3. United States 3,320,870
  4. Egypt 2,208,080
  5. Iran 1,922,970
  6. Turkey 1,900,000
  7. Pakistan 1,701,100
  8. Brazil 1,555,000
  9. Russia 1,536,300

The nutritional value of a cup of chopped onion is equal to:

  • Calories 64
  • Carbohydrates 14.9 g
  • Fat 0.16 g
  • Cholesterol 0 g
  • Fiber 2.72 g
  • Sugar 6.78 g
  • Protein 1.76 g

Health benefits of onions

Onions are a rich source of flavonoids and thiosulfinates. The flavonoids in onions help lower bad cholesterol in your body, and thiosulfinates maintain the consistency of the blood just like a blood thinner. Because of this, the risk of heart attack and stroke is greatly reduced. The antioxidants in onions and the chemical compounds in onions are so powerful that they help boost the immune system and have anti-cancer properties.

Dried onions

One of the best ways to preserve onions is to dry them, and also dried onions can be stored without refrigeration. There are several types of dried onions: dried onion slices, powders and granules. You can use dried onions in any recipe that requires fresh onions.


  1. 6 Types of Onions and How to Use Them
  2. Origin and History of Onions
  3. Onion History


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