German farmers as long ago as 1750 were making sauerkraut…
The onion, it has been said, is the truffle of the poor. That may be, but one thing for sure is that onions are popular — while they carry with them a certain sulfurous pungency. Ironically, though it separates into many layers, the word onion comes from the Latin word for “one” or “unity.”
Can you imagine: Romans had raw onions on bread for breakfast? Wow. The cipollini, however, is a bit milder, and I love cooking with them: blanch in boiling water for a couple minutes then plunge into an ice bath (the onions, not you). This makes them easier to peel.
Toss in some olive oil, a bit of butter and a sprig or two of rosemary and roast them in a 350-degree oven until soft (about an hour, depending on size). Their flat nature, in fact, allows them to roast quite nicely.
Here’s a fragment of onion doggerel, from Swift:
There is in every cook’s opinion,
No savoury dish without on onion:
But lest your kissing should be spoiled
The onion must be thoroughly boiled.