All over the world the Allium family, that the humble Onions are part of, have been a staple for many meals to many people. Let us just say that it is not only a staple but that it is the base to a great many dishes.
Who hasn't laboriously chopped an Onion, crying in the meantime, in order to prepare a dish full of flavours, I wonder? I have a trick for that it is to make my Man chopped the Onions because I still haven't seen a workable tip to avoid crying when chopping an Onion. The scuba diving goggles are supposed to work but then you will not help giggling at your Partner wearing some telling you that he is scuba diving for a Spanish Onion.
Chopped White Onions: a base for so many dishes.
Not because I come from France but I will still quote the French Onion Soup as one of many examples. My Partner remember the time when French people from Brittany were cycling with strings of Onions on the wrong side of the road coming all the way from Roscoff. It must have been quite a sight and made the picturesque cliché of a Frenchman endure: The Béret, the Baguette (French Stick) under his arm, the Onions, like a pearl necklace beautifying his tough hard working neck, the navy striped top, the black waistcoat open in a non care fashion way, sometimes accompanied by a red handckerchief around the neck (to not catch a cold)... what can I say to complete the picture: The rugged hands which you don't know if they are washed or not but you do trust anyway because they did touch the earth, the pipe at the corner of the mouth or the old cigarette which didn't have time to survive for thirty minutes: The complete charicature of a French Man.
French Men in London delivering their Onions. Picture from Claude Daridon.
But French are not always the good old Rogues, they could be delicate, refined ones as well. I remember deep philosophical conversations in French cafés and litterary ones which would make your mind dizzy even with a good double espresso in front of you. Here is a link to a French actor and sculptor from the very town where I came from Cherbourg. He was very refined but was also renown to do all his dangerous stunts in his movies, he would not let someone put their life in danger for him. His name is Jean Marais.
Returning to our Onions, the Roscoff ones do have quite a reputation but I will say so do the large Spanish ones. The variety of Onions you can get is massive. The entire Allium family is a pleasure to eat but also to watch growing and blossoming.
An Onion Flower from my Garden.
Speaking of the Onion family and Flowers, Chive Flowers can be eaten. As you know I do grow Chives which have a very welcomed but subtle Onion-y flavour which is perfect for many dishes especially for the ones involving Fish. As for Chive Flowers they can embellish a Salad or a Soup or a dish with Fish or Eggs. You can do little quaint fried Quail Eggs and serve them on a bed of Lambs Lettuce, chopped Chive and the decorative but edible Chive Flowers. A little drizzle of Truffle Oil to finish the dish. Shavings of Truffle and et Voilà!
Chives Flowers, they have a beautiful lavender colour to them: A pretty sight for a pretty plate.
Now the range of Onions is huge, Spring Onions, White Onions, Yellow Onions, Brown Onions, Red Onions, Banana Shallots, Pearl Shallots and even Leeks to name just a few. It is a feast to behold. Even Garlic belongs to the Onions family. You can roll on a bicycle with all of it and do plenty of dishes with them... Plenty. ( here is a link to a very French song down below for you to enjoy)