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What Is the Most Onion-Heavy Cuisine?

It recently dawned on me that onions must be one of the very most widely used and beloved of all vegetables. (Yes, I took a Ph.D. from Dartmouth in Obvious Studies.) It seems that almost every major cuisine on the planet makes liberal use of them. And then I asked myself, "Khan, which cuisine uses onions the most?" I had not a definitive answer. So now I ask the question of you all and will wait with bated, onion-scented breath for your answers.

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  1. Indian I think I remember reading something on the BBC about it.

    edit: this is the link http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-in...

    It doesnt say that its the most onion heavy cuisine but if they have onion mania one can assume..

    4 Replies
    1. re: kpaxonite

      Depends on where. Onions certainly feature heavy in MANY indian cuisines but in some varieties of hindu practice, particularly branches of Vaishnavism they are considered to be avoided as they "inflame passions". The Hare Krsna avoid them all together.

      1. re: kpaxonite

        Middle Eastern and Asian Sub Continent food in general

        According to Onions USA:

        >What country boasts the highest per capita consumption of onions?

        Libya, with 66.8 pounds of onions consumed per person each year.

        1. re: falerin

          And from the same site, it appears we don't even come close to Libya: we consume only 20 lbs. per person per year, as of 2009.

        2. re: kpaxonite

          Not coincidentally, I was preparing paneer Tamil Nadu (it features lots of onions) when this topic occurred to me.

          1. From what I have seen of Shrek it seems like the Ogre's diet is very heavy in onions.

            1 Reply
            1. I don't know which cuisine uses onions the most, but I'm quite sure the family that consumes the most onions is that of Stanley Yelnats IV.

              1 Reply
              1. re: John E.

                Spiced Peaches will cut the smell. That and not digging large quantities of subterranean excavations for insane jailors.

              2. Indian, for sure. I make some things that easily use 2,3 or even 4 large onions.

                1. According to my source, per capita consumption is about 60 lbs. in Tajikstan, about 50 in S. Korea, Algeria, and Morocco. USA is about 20, Mexico is under 20, and India trails back in the pack.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: grampart

                    I think that stat is a bit misleading for the India portion, as South Indian cooking does not use a lot of onion, while North Indian cooking is very dependent on onion. If they averaged the two, that would lower their consumption average.

                    1. re: boogiebaby

                      Indian cuisine varies so dramatically from region to region that just saying "Indian" food could lead you anywhere.

                    2. re: grampart

                      That's strange...onions actually aren't used much in Korean food.

                      1. re: joonjoon

                        France at only 2 kilos per annum also strikes me as odd.

                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                          Maybe, the statistic looks at onions bought, not just consumed, so it leaves out onions consumed in restaurants. Perhaps, the French are having their onion soup not at home... Or I'm totally wrong.

                          1. re: Wawsanham

                            I'm not sure, but in general, those statistics look very suspect to me. And do we really have statistics for Gabon that are as reliable as those for the US? I rather doubt it.

                          2. re: Perilagu Khan

                            French cooking uses other related plants - leeks, shallot. So maybe that skews the stats.

                      2. Indian.

                        I make sure I have at least a full 2lb bag or more just for that day's meal.
                        I was taught that an abundance of onions makes for a great gravy in Indian foods.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Cheese Boy

                          There are about thirty varieties of onions all with their own growing region/s and uses world wide.
                          Not sure it's possible to claim any cuisine uses more or less onions.
                          From a mathematical 'based on percent of population' India and China would be using the most onions. But if the Island of Maui had a billion people living on it then 'hawaiian cuisine would use the most 'maui' onions.

                        2. OT: Recipe? Have oodles of paneer and onions on hand.

                          Edited to add that this was supposed to go under Khan's mention of paneer Tamil Nadu.

                          1. I'll try to remember to post it for you. Probably be tomorrow afternoon or evening.

                            1. West African

                              Everything that I've tried starts out with at least two sliced or diced onions.

                              1. Lots of Jewish recipes use substantial amounts of onions. It's to the point that when my wife and I are at a restaurant of any type of cuisine and we smell onions frying, she says "Reminds me of Jewish meals from when I was growing up."

                                1. Indian, hands down. I never seen any other restaurant besides Indian that can go through 500lb onions each and every week.