You’re right, onions make you cry and in many cases can leave you with bad breath, but they are one of the most important vegetables in the Mediterranean diet. In Italy, there are many different types of onions for example, from Suasa, in the Marche region, or Breme, in the Lombardy region. Besides them, the red onions of Tropea, in the Calabria region, stand out all over the world for their sweetness and authentic flavor. Every respectable cook should have at least a couple of Tropea onions in his own kitchen.
A long time ago, these vegetables were brought to Calabria by the Phoenicians and the Greeks. Due to the richness of the terrains, and the mild temperatures, with some huge fluctuations during winter, the onions of Tropea have a sweet taste, a crunchy texture, and they are easier to digest than other types of onions. They are very rich in nutritional value, in fact, the health properties of these onions are many, like preventing cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks, or having a powerful antibiotic and antioxidant effect. Thanks to all of these characteristics the Tropea onion was recognized in 2008 by the EU as an IGP product (namely PGI – Protected Geographical Indication).
In the kitchen, there are many recipes where these onions have the main role like in the typical onion omelette with boiled potatoes. In addition, they may have an important side role, like with oven baked cod fish. Taking for granted that this particular type of vegetable can be a jack of all trades in any recipe, tradition teaches us some singular uses or tips related with these unique onions. When you have a cold or a sore throat, put beside your bed, before you sleep, half of an onion, in this way you’ll inhale during the night its vapors and you’ll wake up completely decongested. If by any chance, you are bitten by a wasp or a hornet, take immediately a half sliced onion and put it on the sting to avoid annoying itches and bulges. For those that even after a good meal based on onions can’t help themselves from kissing their woman, but they want to avoid embarrassing bad breath, the tradition suggests drinking a cup of milk.
Eating Tropea onions is healthy and at the same time delicious, and having one of these in your pantry could be a resource for many different uses. You have no more excuses for not experiencing the so called “Red Gold of Calabria” after what you’ve just read.