We got a note from good friend Rick Spurling of the St. David’s Historical society the other day. He had just read our piece on www.TheBermudian.com about Bermuda onions with recipes etc. which he commended us on and said how much he enjoyed reading. The St. David’s Historical society had just held a great event (May 17th, 2014) at Carter House called Onion Day. In celebration of the Carter House Onion Day, Rick had written a kind of ‘ode to the onion’ which we love and just had to share! Thank you Rick, and to all our fellow onions and friends of onions, enjoy!
Why are Bermudians “Onions”?
The parallels are clear: Bermudians are bold and strong, direct and unassuming but also mild and sweet. They come in many colours: white, red, yellow, green. Some have white skin others brown. Most onions are well cultivated but some are wild. They’re great cooked or raw and go well anywhere; in fact they turn up everywhere. They are superb when pickled. They are as good as an apple any day. An onion-a-day keeps more than the doctor away! They can, and often do make you cry. We are closely related to garlic.
Bermuda was discovered in 1505 but there are accounts of onions as far back as 5000 BC! The ancient Egyptians worshipped onions – they thought onions symbolized eternal life. Mark Twain said he would rather stay in Bermuda than go to heaven so maybe onions do encourage eternal life? Many years ago doctors prescribed onions to facilitate bowel movements and erections, and as a treatment for infertility in women…as well as dogs cats and cattle! …hmmm. In India they believe onions are aphrodisiacs! Buddhists say cooked onions increase desire but raw ones don’t. All said and done onions are full of nutrients and antioxidants with no cholesterol or fat!
There are even songs about onions: Marvin Gaye “the world is one great big onion” at least that’s what Bermudians think. New York can be an apple if it wants. Susan Christie “I don’t like snails, or toads or frogs, or strange things living under logs, but mmm, I love onions…..Onions onions ha ha ha…”
Some like onions with everything: Ever heard of an onion and mustard sandwich? ….and yes a peanut butter and onion sandwich? Not to mention an onion martini preferred by Bermudians as the best pickling recipe; rum too.
The onion is the most underrated vegetable; it has a bad rap but unlock its secrets and the world is yours….one great big onion and maybe eternal life.