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The onion's popularity continues to grow

(ran TP edition)

Onions are the most frequently consumed vegetable in the world and the third-most-eaten vegetable in the United States after potatoes and lettuce, according to the Web site www.sweetonion The site features information about and recipes for sweet onions such as Vidalias.

Try this Orange-Sweet Onion Vinaigrette recipe from the site. In a bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons orange juice, \ cup minced sweet onions, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard and 2 teaspoons honey. Gradually whisk in cup salad oil until well-blended.

Onions have been a part of diet for so long that no one is sure of their place of origin, possibly Central Asia or Persia, or when they were first eaten, probably as a staple of the prehistoric diet, or when they went from being wild to being cultivated, although it is known that the Chinese were growing them in gardens at least 5,000 years ago.

Onions are mentioned in the Bible, in Numbers 11:5, by the children of Israel during the Exodus: "We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic."

In Egypt, onions were a source of worship. They have been found in the pelvic region of mummies and flattened against the ears.