Onions originate from the Middle East in the region stretching from Iran to West-Pakistan and adjoining Southern Russia. From there, the cultivation of onion is thought to have spread towards the east and west.

In ancient Egypt, onions were already an important food. We know this, amongst other things, because of the stories from the Bible and the Koran. Around 1000 BC, onions were introduced to the Greeks via Crete. The Romans, too, embraced the allium crop in about 400 BC. In the Netherlands, the onion probably made its entry in around 1300.

Plants with a strong smell have a reputation for dispelling evil in popular religions. The Romans, for example, used both onions and garlic to drive away bad spirits.
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