An Open Letter to Onions
Onions: Vile yet mysteriously ubiquitous “food” stuff
This letter is to the former, not the latter.
I don’t like you. You don’t like me. We’ve never gotten along, and that’s OK. Yet, after nearly forty years of willfully rejecting you at every turn, you are somehow more popular than I am. Granted, I’m not edible outside of cannibalism, so you have more range, but let us review your flaws.
1. You taste like armpit smells. You. Taste. Like. Armpit. Your signature scent mostly closely resembles body odor for which the American public spends billions of dollars every year to mask or eliminate. The fifth grade teachers at our son’s school begged parents to enforce deodorant during the hottest days of the school year. They begged, and yet there you are in the finest restaurants in the world and at McDonalds, all-be-it in dehydrated form.
2. You make people cry. Granted, I make people cry too. Most people can’t get through the first chapter of my book without weeping, but I will add – with a purpose. You make people cry just to be mean. Why would anyone want to eat something that makes them cry?
3. You sneak your way into things where you clearly do not belong. I once found you in a salad that contained . . . strawberries! Sacrilege. What were you doing there? I demand to know.
4. Somehow you’ve gained such overt acceptance that certain menus don’t even consider you an ingredient and neglect to list you. Too often have I been disappointed to find you stowed away in a dish when your presence was not announced in the menu at ordering. I mean, if they can list mushrooms, surely there is font-space for you, vile root.
5. The crunch. Yes, celery, fennel, garlic, bok-choy, your milder and tastier cousins can, with improper cooking time, crunch too, but not like you. Your crunch is a thing of terror. It’s like scraping one’s teeth on chalk only to reveal layer upon layer of foul aroma and flavor.
6. You stink. Yes, I know we’ve already visited this territory with the armpit analogy, but you smell so bad that people apologize for eating you. You last on the skin for days and then you seep out the pours. People apologize for eating you! Why do they eat you?
Red and Yellow, Green,and White, you are vile in my sight. Oh how I hate all the onions of the world!
Here’s the thing, onions, I had to eat you when I was a kid. My father used to stare me down and wait me out at the kitchen table while I took forkfuls of carefully picked-out onions and swallowed you whole with water like the bitterest of medicines. There was a time when I had to eat what was put in front of me, but that time is no more! I am the adult now. I buy the food. You will not be making an appearance at my dinner table.
Yet, this brings us to the greatest of betrayals, onions. It was not the ten pound bag of you that my sisters put in my car before I left on my honey moon, the last of which rolled out from under my seat three months later. No, I dispatched those out the car window down the highway, thus returning them to the fields from whence they came. The greatest betrayal was when my daughter, my own daughter – my God, MY daughter said, “Onions aren’t that bad!” Sacre bleu! Really?!
This was akin to my son’s mysterious love for NASCAR and country music. I really thought I’d bred it out of them. Onions, how could you? Oh, that’s right, it’s in your nature. You stink!
Kindly stay off my plate and out of my palate.
The woman who dislikes armpit flavored foods