What do we know about the onions? That they are considered as one of the veggies that prevent both infection and infestation.
They belong to the allium family. Many of them are grown in the gardens, some as ornamentals in flower borders, others as herbs and edible plants.
Why does the onion have so intense smell? The reason is in allicins – chemicals that include volatile sulphur compounds. It is released when we cut the onion and makes us cry.
But do we know how many different varieties, colors and size it have? When did people start noticing how onions in diet effected on our health? And where do they come from?
Onions have been cultivated for thousand of years and probably originated in western and Central Asia. In ancient Egypt onion appears as the guarantee of the maintenance of a heart, protecting the deceased and it is an instrument of a solar rebirth. From then on, the onions presented to the deceased’s nostrils allow him to acquire the new breath of life.
From the earliest record, the onions was considered as an important foodstuffs, and had power in its symbolic and religious meaning.
Did you know that they were forbidden to certain social groups, and regarded as taboo or to have evil power. The effect of their odour on the breath and sweat had led them to be labeled as vulgar and unacceptable in polite society.
Only in 19th century in France the onions finally were thought quite de rigueur in polite society. Parisians society considered onions and garlic positively fashionable. In Spain they said that “a stew without onion is like a dance without music”. But in Britain and USA the popularity of the onions in the mass started to raise only in 20th century and was vaunted as much healthier way of eating.
Nowadays the onions are very essential part of our diet. They are good for digestion, maintaining a balanced blood pressure and work as a general tonic to help stave off infection. Onions as well as garlic have great antifungal and antiviral properties, and they play their part in maintaining a healthy intestinal flora and fauna.
There are more than 300 distinct species in the allium family, many of which are used as food plants. Onions, shallots, leeks and garlic are commonly known. We use them in the savory cooking, frying, boiling, roasting, baking, stuffing and grilling them.
Today’s recipe of PISSALANDREA or PISSALADIÈRE is originating from Liguria (Italy) and more particularly from Genoa. The word itself comes from the Italian terminology Pizza all’Andrea and considered to be the Genoa pizza with thicker bread dough and the traditional topping of caramelized onions, black olives and anchovies.
For this recipe it is better to use yellow onions (known as Spanish regardless of their place of origin) with a mild flavor. They are characterized by a light brown skin and a greenish white to pale yellow flesh. Spanish onions are usually large, round and mild.
PISSALADIÈRE can be made using either short crust pastry or yeasted dough, similar to pizza dough but thicker.
(Serves 6 portions)
1 cup of flour = 125 g
1 cup of sugar = 250 g
1/3 cup of polenta = 50 g
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