As Shrek said, “Onions have layers.” They are, without a doubt, the ultimate food. Tony Abbott certainly thinks so.
The cross-cultural foundation of most dishes, onions have a beautiful diversity. How many recipes have you read that started with minced, diced, or chopped onions in a butter or olive oil sautee? And how many recipes have you read that end with a garnish of sliced, caramelized, or roasted onions?
Both the starter and the closer for dishes, onions also have a brilliant diversity in flavor profile. Raw red onion has a delightful, fresh sharpness when used in moderation against acidic foods like lime, tomatoes, and vinegars. But an hour of roasting white onions produce a gooey, syrupy sweetness that’s at home on shortbread tarts with fruity jams. Emulsified in a rue, onion can add a richness to stocks, sauces, and soups. Shaved and sprinkled over salads, onion can brighten a flat dish right up.
And is there a better food for metaphor? I bring you back to Shrek and his infinite wisdom. There are other layered foods: parfaits, slices, baklava. But there’s not another food that is as well-known for producing tears as we cut deeper into the heart of the matter. There is not another food that cracks, dry and broken on the counter, to reveal a delectable staple of humanity’s diet.
I invite you to take a moment and appreciate onions in all of their tear-inducing glory. For centuries, poets have questioned from which fruit we tapped the nectar of the gods. I submit that this must be it. To onions, with love.