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cheetah7071
Oct 20, 2010


College Slice

Speaking of onions, were pre-modern onions less sharp-tasting? Reading Don Quixote, the combination of bread and onions comes up a few times as pretty standard traveler food, and from context it doesn't seem like the characters were roasting the onions. Just biting into a raw onion for lunch isn't impossible, of course, but it'd make a lot more sense if they were different cultivars from the onions we use the most today.

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Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

cheetah7071 posted:

Speaking of onions, were pre-modern onions less sharp-tasting? Reading Don Quixote, the combination of bread and onions comes up a few times as pretty standard traveler food, and from context it doesn't seem like the characters were roasting the onions. Just biting into a raw onion for lunch isn't impossible, of course, but it'd make a lot more sense if they were different cultivars from the onions we use the most today.

Well, if you could have seen the thick, meaty slices of onion people over here put on raw minced meat, which they first put on bread, you don't even need pre-modern onions. It's apparently really tasty to bite into raw onion!

Besides, Don Quixote was released in two parts in 1605 and 1615, so those onions aren't pre-modern in any case.

cheetah7071
Oct 20, 2010


College Slice

Libluini posted:

Well, if you could have seen the thick, meaty slices of onion people over here put on raw minced meat, which they first put on bread, you don't even need pre-modern onions. It's apparently really tasty to bite into raw onion!

Besides, Don Quixote was released in two parts in 1605 and 1615, so those onions aren't pre-modern in any case.

Sure pre-modern isn't the right word, but it's still 400 years ago, plenty of time for cultivars to shift

Brendan Rodgers
Jun 11, 2014






cheetah7071 posted:

Just biting into a raw onion for lunch isn't impossible

Have you never had raw onion in a salad? People eat raw onions and raw chillis + other stuff as a salad/side dish in some countries.

Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012





Just bit into one to try it.

The thing to remember about all Alliums the sulfuric compounds that hold the flavor are inside the cell walls, that's why a full clove of garlic tastes more like an onion, whereas crushed garlic is very, well garlicky.

So if you just bite in it's sort of just vaguely sweet with a hint of oniony flavor

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

cheetah7071 posted:

Sure pre-modern isn't the right word, but it's still 400 years ago, plenty of time for cultivars to shift

They don't really need to though, sweet, sharp and mild onions weren't all invented by shifty cultivars, they were a thing back then, too. Also, people here today don't have trouble eating raw onion, even the sharp ones

Ola
Jul 19, 2004



I haven't read it, I definitely should, but perhaps the writer made a point out of them eating a less than luxurious diet.

cheetah7071
Oct 20, 2010


College Slice

perhaps I have been an onion coward all my life

Deteriorata
Feb 6, 2005

The general increasing love of athletics is benefiting our young men, and making their lives better and more worth the living.

Ola posted:

I haven't read it, I definitely should, but perhaps the writer made a point out of them eating a less than luxurious diet.

I'm sure onions are quite tasty when the alternative is starvation.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





cheetah7071 posted:

perhaps I have been an onion coward all my life
It could be.

I would not be surprised if they weren't eating the sharpest possible cultivar but I also expect if you're eating bread and onions as your primary diet, you are getting whatever onion is cheapest and not visibly rotty.

cheetah7071
Oct 20, 2010


College Slice

Ola posted:

I haven't read it, I definitely should, but perhaps the writer made a point out of them eating a less than luxurious diet.

I mean it definitely wasn't supposed to be a luxurious meal, but from context and tone I gather that bread and onions wasn't unusual traveler's food. There's even some jokes where Quixote brags that knights are willing to sustain themselves on anything, and Sancho says that in that case, he'll give Quixote the nuts and raisins and keep the rest for himself. So bread and onions at least aren't the bottom of the barrel for traveler's food, for the joke to work.

cheetah7071 fucked around with this message at 21:45 on Apr 7, 2021

feedmegin
Jul 30, 2008




Libluini posted:

Besides, Don Quixote was released in two parts in 1605 and 1615, so those onions aren't pre-modern in any case.

Welllll

Thats the Early Modern tbf which despite the name we usually consider a different period from the actual Modern

Also add cheese to the bread and onion, then its great!

CommonShore
Jun 6, 2014

A true renaissance man




I've eaten whole onions out of the garden and even though I have an otherwise iron stomach I get a pretty sore stomach from that until I eat something else to dilute it.

But I still do it occasionally.



Also consider that Spanish onions have a reputation for being sweeter and milder

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

Looking into this, onions are fascinating! Apparently humans have been eating them since forever, since even wild forms are basically everywhere humans can live and they're all edible from the get-go, no domestication needed.

On the other hand, we don't know exactly where all the modern forms of Allium-plants are coming from, since the time when most of the modern forms like our common garlic and onions were bred, was around the time of ancient Egypt.

Reinhard M. Fritsch and Nikolai Friesen believe so at least, but they claim since we can't properly identify our modern plants with the old, local names used in Egypt and Mesopotamia, we can't really follow the evolutionary history of the domesticated Allium-plants back to their wild ancestors. Essentially, back when humans first started raising wild onion in their gardens, they kind of went over board and created so many different variants immediately that it created a huge, incomprehensible mess.

So in conclusion, we have been eating the same kind of onion plants with slight alterations for thousands of years. Which is amazing, really.

You can look up their paper on onion evolution here, if you want. The PDF-download is free.


Edit:


cheetah7071 posted:

I mean it definitely wasn't supposed to be a luxurious meal, but from context and tone I gather that bread and onions wasn't unusual traveler's food. There's even some jokes where Quixote brags that knights are willing to sustain themselves on anything, and Sancho says that in that case, he'll give Quixote the nuts and raisins and keep the rest for himself. So bread and onions at least aren't the bottom of the barrel for traveler's food, for the joke to work.

The joke probably comes from both bread and onions being the most basic food you can have. Wild onions existing also means this could be a hidden joke about them only having bread, and sustaining themselves by collecting wild onions on the way. "Bread and onions" could have been Cervantes's attempt at jokingly telling the reader "they have nothing".

PittTheElder
Feb 13, 2012

Yes, it's like a lava lamp.



euphronius
Feb 18, 2009






Couldnít they just have been fried ?

cheetah7071
Oct 20, 2010


College Slice

euphronius posted:

Couldnít they just have been fried ?

Yeah I assume people fried their onions when they had the chance, I just brought it up because it was pretty clear that the characters were eating them raw. But Don Quixote is a comedy so maybe it's a joke that just went over my head and I'm supposed to laugh at these idiots eating their onions raw

sebzilla
Mar 17, 2009

Kid's blasting everything in sight with that new-fangled musket.




Libluini posted:

Looking into this, onions are fascinating! Apparently humans have been eating them since forever, since even wild forms are basically everywhere humans can live and they're all edible from the get-go, no domestication needed.

On the other hand, we don't know exactly where all the modern forms of Allium-plants are coming from, since the time when most of the modern forms like our common garlic and onions were bred, was around the time of ancient Egypt.

Reinhard M. Fritsch and Nikolai Friesen believe so at least, but they claim since we can't properly identify our modern plants with the old, local names used in Egypt and Mesopotamia, we can't really follow the evolutionary history of the domesticated Allium-plants back to their wild ancestors. Essentially, back when humans first started raising wild onion in their gardens, they kind of went over board and created so many different variants immediately that it created a huge, incomprehensible mess.

So in conclusion, we have been eating the same kind of onion plants with slight alterations for thousands of years. Which is amazing, really.

You can look up their paper on onion evolution here, if you want. The PDF-download is free.


Edit:


The joke probably comes from both bread and onions being the most basic food you can have. Wild onions existing also means this could be a hidden joke about them only having bread, and sustaining themselves by collecting wild onions on the way. "Bread and onions" could have been Cervantes's attempt at jokingly telling the reader "they have nothing".

Wow, this poster really knows their onions

Brendan Rodgers
Jun 11, 2014






I'd write a comedy where the main characters eat food flavoured with salt and High-fructose corn syrup, but, isn't that just every US sitcom?

ChubbyChecker
Mar 25, 2018



Libluini posted:

Well, if you could have seen the thick, meaty slices of onion people over here put on raw minced meat, which they first put on bread, you don't even need pre-modern onions.

thanks for reminding me, haven't had one of those in a while

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

cheetah7071 posted:

Speaking of onions, were pre-modern onions less sharp-tasting? Reading Don Quixote, the combination of bread and onions comes up a few times as pretty standard traveler food, and from context it doesn't seem like the characters were roasting the onions. Just biting into a raw onion for lunch isn't impossible, of course, but it'd make a lot more sense if they were different cultivars from the onions we use the most today.

It's probably not so much premodern as it is Spanish.

The Spanish onion is separate type. "The Spanish onion is often eaten raw." https://www.cooksinfo.com/spanish-onions

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


There was also a key point in the plot of Holes in the ancient year of 1998 where the characters ate raw onions fresh out of the ground.

There's a lot of accounts where it's just doable.

Comstar
Apr 20, 2007

But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Princess Celestia


sullat posted:

IIRC they weren't paid solely in grain, they also got an allowance of meat, clothes, oil and veggies. Well, onions mostly. We know this from surviving ledgers.

Is there a cookbook to make the meal someone would eat to build the Pyramids.


Future people will read our cookbooks on what to live on when in Skyrim.

skasion
Feb 13, 2012

Why don't you perform zazen, facing a wall?


Onion opinions ITT

Brendan Rodgers
Jun 11, 2014






The people talking about eating raw onion as though it's some Herculean task, I wonder what they eat every day.

Jeb Bush 2012
Apr 4, 2007

A mathematician, like a painter or poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas.

Brendan Rodgers posted:

The people talking about eating raw onion as though it's some Herculean task, I wonder what they eat every day.
...cooked onions?

Brendan Rodgers
Jun 11, 2014






Jeb Bush 2012 posted:

...cooked onions?

Yeah? Even the English have been eating cooked onions forever, and they barely even understand the point of food.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





Brendan Rodgers posted:

The people talking about eating raw onion as though it's some Herculean task, I wonder what they eat every day.
I do know people who find raw onion disgusting, or at the least, unpleasant. At the same time, even if you yourself dislike it it's clearly not poisonous or physically impossible or anything...

Brendan Rodgers
Jun 11, 2014






Has anyone made/eaten Garum? What's it like?

cheetah7071
Oct 20, 2010


College Slice

I've heard it said that vietnamese fish sauce (which is a bit different from the Thai stuff which you'll find outside of Asian supermarkets) is extremely similar

Tulip
Jun 3, 2008

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.




Comstar posted:

Is there a cookbook to make the meal someone would eat to build the Pyramids.


Future people will read our cookbooks on what to live on when in Skyrim.

Basically: no. We might get there, but the big trouble is that recipes for bread basically were never written down. We've had some very exciting archaeology on the subject, including fairly recently isolating what is probably the yeast strain used, but even if we're very confident we have all the ingredients and tools nailed down, that won't tell us stuff like the specific proportions or the rising time or kneading time beyond guessing/analogy.

Deteriorata
Feb 6, 2005

The general increasing love of athletics is benefiting our young men, and making their lives better and more worth the living.

Brendan Rodgers posted:

Has anyone made/eaten Garum? What's it like?

I got my daughter-in-law some off Amazon. It was from Spain, supposedly based from a 3rd century recipe.

It smells pretty bad, but the taste is much more subtle. Fishy, but more like Worcestershire sauce, which I guess is a similar sort of fish sauce.

skasion
Feb 13, 2012

Why don't you perform zazen, facing a wall?


Brendan Rodgers posted:

Has anyone made/eaten Garum? What's it like?

Itís like/is fish sauce.

euphronius
Feb 18, 2009






Worcestershire sauce is very common even today . (Itís garum)

Tulip
Jun 3, 2008

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.




Comstar posted:

Is there a cookbook to make the meal someone would eat to build the Pyramids.


Future people will read our cookbooks on what to live on when in Skyrim.

Basically: no. We might get there, but the big trouble is that recipes for bread basically were never written down. We've had some very exciting archaeology on the subject, including fairly recently isolating what is probably the yeast strain used, but even if we're very confident we have all the ingredients and tools nailed down, that won't tell us stuff like the specific proportions or the rising time or kneading time beyond guessing/analogy.

E: We do have some ancient recipes, I've tried a few. I rather liked a Hittite recipe for apple sauce - basically just 3 less sweet apples (I use granny smiths), an onion (I use yellow), some butter (I use earth balance), and maybe half a teaspoon of oregano. Melt the butter in a pot, fry the onions, then put in the (peeled) apples with some water, mash it up a bit and keep going till its pretty soft, add in the oregano. We don't have any serving suggestions for it, so the idea I heard (and used) was to spread it on bread. I thought it was good enough that I've done it more than once.

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019



Brendan Rodgers posted:

Has anyone made/eaten Garum? What's it like?

My understanding is it's very similar to SE Asian fish sauce. Theoretically there may have been some cultural exchange going on there millennia ago by which the recipe spread.

This guy tried making some himself, using a Roman cheat recipe to make same-day garum (since his neighbors would hate him if he turned his apartment into a months-long garum factory):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5S7Bb0Qg-oE

ughhhh
Oct 17, 2012



In india and nepal, a common meal/snack is chapatti (flat bread), rawonions (usually red/sharpest kind you can get), cucumbers and whole chili.

Also at McSorley's, one of the oldest irish bars in nyc, one of the snacks is a plate of sharp cheddar, raw onions and homemade mustard. Want to go back one I get the vaccine.

Bar Ran Dun
Jan 21, 2006

When there were five in the bed and we all rolled over I said nothing, because I would not fall off.

Good sweet onions are definitely edible uncooked. My understanding is that itís more about where they are grown than variety, but that variety does matter some.

A thick cut sweet onion sandwich is really good with a good sauce.

Also you can just roast onions whole. Cut the top off spread the onion a bit pour in some sweet vinegar or sweet wine then roast for like an hour, it knocks the kick way down and makes them sweet.

Bar Ran Dun fucked around with this message at 00:20 on Apr 8, 2021

Bongo Bill
Jan 17, 2012



skasion posted:

Onion opinions ITT

oponions

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Telsa Cola
Aug 19, 2011

No... this is all wrong... this whole operation has just gone completely sidewaysface


When you wear your onion on your belt is it hanging against your left leg or your right.

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