Bread and onions was once a sign of absolute poverty, there was no food poorer than this: in spring, when the ground was hoed in preparation for the summer vegetable garden, onions were carefully harvested. Even the 'reborn onions', those that reappear on some onion residue that escaped during harvesting, were collected by farmers.
In late summer, dried and freed of the external skin and dipped in salt, bite after bite, they were consumed with bread. Bread and onion, in fact, was always known as the true food of the poor.
Onions, a generous and multifaceted vegetable, have always been, and still are, the queens of the Italian kitchen.
We grow and love many varieties, from the white one from Isernia to the red from Tropea, to our traditional golden onion, or spring onion, without forgetting Spanish onions and Borettana. They can be large and flat, long or perfectly round, very small or gigantic. Many shapes, many colors, many uses. Onions look good everywhere, you might say they are a bit like parsley, in fact, more indispensable than parsley.
Today, as in the past, onions are undoubtedly an irreplaceable ingredient in many dishes. What would be a stir-fry without onions? Without onions, meat and Genoese pasta would not exist at all. And how sad would be a mixed salad without the generous presence of a fresh onion? And the omelet? It would really be a serious loss for our palate...
And what about the ancient and delicious flavor of those huge onions, just one was enough for the whole family: cooked under the hot ashes, slowly and gently, and then shared, only adding olive oil and some flavoring. And here's dinner for everyone, a delicacy intended, unfortunately, only for those who have a fireplace.
Onions, therefore, fit well everywhere and are not just a bulb used for their unmistakable aromatic properties.
With some onions, you can also prepare complete, pleasant dishes with many virtues: and it's not over yet, because you can also sweeten them. And here it is, precisely, sweet and sour, very easy to make, and available throughout the year. And here it is, finally, also as... jam. Yes, onion jam, to pair with cheeses or roasts.
Bread and onion? Yes, please!