Did you know that today, June 22nd, is National Onion Rings Day? Yep, I’m not making that up; there’s even a Facebook Like Page for it, so you know it’s gotta be official. And you thought the Summer Solstice was the big news today. Yeah, yeah, 24 hours of daylight at the North Pole, big wup. Of course, summer solstice at Stonehenge is kinda cool.
Back to the onion rings…Where did onion rings even come from? Who first came up with the idea? It’s kind of odd, if you think about it, although everything nowadays is fair game for the batter-and-fry treatment.
Below is a segment from The Farmer’s Almanac, which describes the origins of that greasy-spoon fave:
…food historians report the onion ring initially entered the purview of American consumers around 1933, when a Crisco ad in The New York Times Magazine featured a recipe for onions dipped in milk, dredged in flour, and of course fried in their product. Prior to that, the 1802 cookbook “The Art of Cookery Made Easy and Refined,” by John Mollard, featured a recipe entitled “Fried Onions with Parmezan Cheese.” Cutting onions into half-inch rings, cooks were then advised to dip them in flour, cream, salt and pepper, and Parmesan cheese, ultimately deep frying in boiling lard. Serving suggestion was with a sauce made of mustard and melted butter. Kind of like a delicious triple bypass on a plate.
Don’t you love it? “a delicious triple bypass on a plate.” I can’t think of a better phrase. So, basically, a company wanted to sell more lard and invented onion rings in the process. I’m not sure what to say about that.
Moving on to dessert…
June 22nd is also National Eclair Day. Squee! Oblong pastry, filled with custard and topped with chocolate icing…I may need a break from writing this post to go buy some eclairs. Who knew this day was going to be so delicious?
No one really knows why the French called the pastry an eclair, which translates to “lightning flash.” Food historians believe it originated in the mid-nineteenth century, and was first called pain a la duchesse. I call it yummy.
What food would you nominate to have its own “national day”? I’d love to hear from you.
However you celebrate June 22nd – dancing at Stonehenge, or feasting on onion rings or eclairs, I hope you have an enjoyable day!