Onion is a term used for many plants in the genus Allium. They are known by the common name “onion” but, used without qualifiers; it usually refers to Allium cepa. Allium cepa is also known as the “garden onion” or “bulb” onion. It is grown underground by the plant as a vertical shoot that is used for food storage, leading to the possibility of confusion with a tuber, which it is not.
Onions, one of the oldest vegetables, are found in many recipes and preparations spanning almost the totality of the world’s cultures. They are now available in fresh, frozen, canned, pickled, powdered, chopped, and dehydrated forms. Onions can be used, usually chopped or sliced, in almost every type of food, including cooked foods and fresh salads and as a spicy garnish. They are rarely eaten on their own, but usually act as accompaniment to the main course. Depending on the variety, an onion can be sharp, spicy, tangy and pungent or mild and sweet.