What would a kitchen be without the distinctively pungent smell and taste of onions filling out the flavours of almost every type of cuisine imaginable? Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia, these underground bulbs are prized all over the world for the depth and flavour that they add to savoury dishes. Dry onions are fully matured, with juicy flesh and dry, papery skin and have a pungent flavour that becomes wonderfully sweet upon lengthy cooking. Medium to large in shape, they have a strong flavour and are good for stuffing or baking; only use raw in salads if you want an assertive onion flavour.
Onions are a very good source of vitamin C, chromium and dietary fibre. They are also a good source of manganese, molybdenum, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, phosphorus and copper.
Onions, like garlic, are members of the Allium family, and both are rich in powerful sulphur-containing compounds, beneficial phytonutrients and antioxidants that are responsible for their pungent odours and for many of their health-promoting effects. There is extensive evidence linking onions to reducing your risk of several common cancers.