DISCARD ONLY WHAT IS STRICTLY NECESSARY
Onion, Allium cepa, is a herbaceous plant which dates back to more than five thousand years ago and has its origin in the Middle East. Onion, like garlic, was appreciated by the Egyptians and was, along with radishes, the basis of their diet. Onion was also used in ancient Greece and subsequently by Romans. It was brought to the Americas by Columbus, but it was the Pilgrim Fathers in the seventeenth century who determined the final conquest of the new world.
There are many varieties of onions in terms of shape, taste and color. Onions can be red, golden or white.
Among the best-known Italian varieties are:
the white onion, sweet, excellent with boiled meat
The golden onion, excellent for sautéing
the red onion of Acquaviva delle Fonti, flat and with white pulp
the red onion of Tropea, typical for its red color and sweetish flavor
Montoro Inferiore and Superiore copper onions with a sweet and aromatic flavor, high cooking resistance and extraordinary preservation capacity.
Onions have few calories, few fats and no proteins. It contains sugars, glucose, fructose and oligosaccharides, which give it its characteristic browning and promote browning during cooking.
The onion contains vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. The bulb also contains glutamic acid and flavonoids.
Onion consumption protects against certain forms of cancer, particularly those of the gastrointestinal tract. The mechanisms are different: deactivation of compounds such as nitrosamines, substances that cause the formation of cancerous cells; slowing down the growth and formation of the tumor; antioxidant action, reduction of inflammatory processes and immunomodulatory action.
Onion has also a high content of antioxidants. The antioxidants – anthocyanins responsible for the red color in some varieties, and flavonols, which are present in a high way especially in the upper layers of the bulb.
This is an important fact to keep in mind while preparing the vegetable for cooking, being careful not to discard more than necessary.