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Onions date back to 2000B.C. when the Chaldean and Egyptian peasants used it to liven up their monotonous diets of dates and fish. In fact, to pay for labor on the Great Pyramid, the Pharoah Cheops paid the laborers with onions, garlic, and parsley.
Onions are notorious for causing tears. They contain oils that evaporate into the air when you cut them. The oils irritate your eyes, causing you to cry as a defense to wash the oils away. If you are ever chopping an onion in a public place, you'll probably hear a lot of tricks to keep your eyes from watering. Some say to chop the onion under cold water others say to put a piece of cheese or a matchstick between your teeth. The most effective way, though, is to shield your eyes from the oils by wearing safety goggles or a scuba diving mask. Because the tears go away after a few minutes, however, you might be content to just let them fall-to grin and bear it.

This Onion recipe is from the Food Facts and History Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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