Dijon is a city in eastern France, capital of the Côte-d'Or département in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region. The earliest archaeological finds within the city limits of Dijon date to the Neolithic period. Dijon became a Roman settlement named Divio, located on the road from Lyon to Paris; the province was home to the Dukes of Burgundy from the early 11th until the late 15th centuries and Dijon was a place of tremendous wealth and power, one of the great European centres of art and science. Population: 151,576 within the city limits; the city has retained varied architectural styles from many of the main periods of the past millennium, including Capetian and Renaissance. Many still-inhabited town houses in the city's central district date from the 18th century and earlier. Dijon architecture is distinguished by, among other things, toits bourguignons made of tiles glazed in terracotta, green and black and arranged in geometric patterns. Dijon holds an Gastronomic Fair every year in autumn. With over 500 exhibitors and 200,000 visitors every year, it is one of the ten most important fairs in France.
Dijon is home, every three years, to the international flower show Florissimo. Dijon is famous for Dijon mustard which originated in 1856, when Jean Naigeon of Dijon substituted verjuice, the acidic "green" juice of not-quite-ripe grapes, for vinegar in the traditional mustard recipe; the historical centre of the city has been registered since July 4, 2015 as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The earliest archaeological finds within the city limits of Dijon date to the Neolithic period. Dijon became a Roman settlement called Divio, which may mean sacred fountain, located on the road from Lyon to Paris. Saint Benignus, the city's apocryphal patron saint, is said to have introduced Christianity to the area before being martyred; this province was home to the Dukes of Burgundy from the early 11th until the late 15th century, Dijon was a place of tremendous wealth and power and one of the great European centres of art and science. The Duchy of Burgundy was a key in the transformation of medieval times toward early modern Europe.
The Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy now houses a museum of art. In 1513, Swiss and Imperial armies invaded Burgundy and besieged Dijon, defended by the governor of the province, Louis II de la Trémoille; the siege was violent, but the town succeeded in resisting the invaders. After long negotiations, Louis II de la Trémoille managed to persuade the Swiss and the Imperial armies to withdraw their troops and to return three hostages who were being held in Switzerland. During the siege, the population called on the Virgin Mary for help and saw the town's successful resistance and the subsequent withdrawal of the invaders as a miracle. For those reasons, in the years following the siege the inhabitants of Dijon began to venerate Notre-Dame de Bon-Espoir. Although a few areas of the town were destroyed, there are nearly no signs of the siege of 1513 visible today. However, Dijon's museum of fine arts has a large tapestry depicting this episode in the town's history: it shows the town before all subsequent destruction and is an example of 16th-century art.
Dijon was occupied by anti-Napoleonic coalitions in 1814, by the Prussian army in 1870–71, by Nazi Germany beginning in June 1940, during WWII, when it was bombed by US Air Force B-17 Flying Fortresses, before the liberation of Dijon by the French Army and the French Resistance, 11 September 1944. Dijon is situated at the heart of a plain drained by two small converging rivers: the Suzon, which crosses it underground from north to south, the Ouche, on the southern side of town. Farther south is the hillside, of vineyards that gives the department its name. Dijon lies 310 km southeast of Paris, 190 km northwest of Geneva, 190 km north of Lyon; the average low of winter is −1 °C, with an average high of 4.2 °C. The average high of summer is 25.3 °C with an average low of 14.7 °C. Average normal temperatures are between 2.3 °C and 5.3 °C from November to March, 17.2 to 19.7 °C from June to August. The climate is oceanic but with a greater temperature range than closer to the Atlantic coastline. Dijon has a large number of churches, including Notre Dame de Dijon, St. Philibert, St. Michel, Dijon Cathedral, dedicated to the apocryphal Saint Benignus, the crypt of, over 1,000 years old.
The city has retained varied architectural styles from many of the main periods of the past millennium, including Capetian and Renaissance. Many still-inhabited town houses in the city's central district date from the 18th century and earlier. Dijon architecture is distinguished by, among other things, toits bourguignons made of tiles glazed in terracotta, green and black and arranged in geometric patterns. Dijon was spared the destruction of wars such as the 1870 Franco-Prussian War and the Second World War, despite the city being occupied. Therefore, many of the old buildings such as the half-timbered houses dating from the 12th to the 15th centuries are undamaged, at least by organized violence. Dijon is home to many museums, including the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon in part of the Ducal Palace, it contains, among other things, ducal kitchens dating back to the mid-15th century, a substantial collection of European art, from Roman times through the present. Am
The turnip or white turnip is a root vegetable grown in temperate climates worldwide for its white, fleshy taproot. The word turnip is a compound of tur- as in turned/rounded on a lathe and neep, derived from Latin napus, the word for the plant. Small, tender varieties are grown for human consumption, while larger varieties are grown as feed for livestock. In the north of England, Ireland and eastern Canada, turnip refers to rutabaga, a larger, yellow root vegetable in the same genus known as swede; the most common type of turnip is white-skinned apart from the upper 1–6 centimetres, which protrude above the ground and are purple or red or greenish where the sun has hit. This above-ground part is fused with the root; the interior flesh is white. The root is globular, from 5–20 centimetres in diameter, lacks side roots. Underneath, the taproot is 10 centimetres or more in length; the leaves grow directly from the above-ground shoulder of the root, with little or no visible crown or neck. Turnip leaves are sometimes eaten as "turnip greens", they resemble mustard greens in flavor.
Turnip greens are a common side dish in southeastern U. S. cooking during late fall and winter. Smaller leaves are preferred, but the bitter taste of larger leaves can be reduced by pouring off the water from the initial boiling and replacing it with fresh water. Varieties of turnip grown for their leaves resemble mustard greens and have small or no storage roots; these include rapini, bok choy, Chinese cabbage. Similar to raw cabbage or radish, turnip leaves and roots have a pungent flavor that becomes milder after cooking. Turnip roots weigh up to 1 kilogram, although they are harvested when smaller. Size is a function of variety and a function of the length of time the turnip has grown. Most small turnips are specialty varieties; these do not keep well. Most baby turnips can be eaten whole, including their leaves. Baby turnips are sold in yellow-, orange-, red-fleshed varieties, as well as white-fleshed, their flavor is mild, so they can be eaten raw in salads like radishes and other vegetables.
Boiled green leaves of the turnip top provide 20 calories in a 100 gram amount, are 93% water, 4% carbohydrates, 1% protein, with negligible fat. The boiled greens are a rich source of vitamin K, with vitamin A, vitamin C, folate in significant content. Boiled turnip greens contain substantial lutein. In a 100 gram reference amount, boiled turnip supplies 22 calories, with only vitamin C in a moderate amount. Other micronutrients in boiled turnip are in negligible content. Boiled turnip is 94% water, 5% carbohydrates, 1% protein, with negligible fat; some evidence shows the turnip was domesticated before the 15th century BC. The turnip was a well-established crop in Hellenistic and Roman times, which leads to the assumption that it was brought into cultivation earlier. Sappho, a Greek poet from the seventh century BC, calls one of her paramours Gongýla, "turnip". Zohary and Hopf note, however, "there are no archaeological records available" to help determine its earlier history and domestication.
Wild forms of the hot turnip and its relatives the mustards and radishes are found over west Asia and Europe, suggesting their domestication took place somewhere in that area. However and Hopf conclude, "Suggestions as to the origins of these plants are based on linguistic considerations." The 1881 Household Cyclopedia gives these instructions for field cultivation of turnips in the United States: The benefits derived from turnip husbandry are of great magnitude. The first ploughing is given after harvest, or as soon as the wheat seed is finished, either in length or across the field, as circumstances may seem to require. In this state the ground remains till the oat seed is finished, when a second ploughing is given to it in a contrary direction to the first, it is repeatedly harrowed rolled between the harrowings and every particle of root-weeds picked off with the hand. In this stage, if the ground has not been foul, the seed process; the next part of the process is the sowing of the seed.
A machine drawn by a horse in a pair of shafts, sows two drills at a time and answers well, where the ground is flat, the drills properly made up. The weight of the machine ensures a regularity of sowing hardly to be gained by those of a different size and construction. From two to three pounds of seed are sown upon the acre, though the smallest of these quantities will give
Henry IV of France
Henry IV known by the epithet Good King Henry or Henry the Great, was King of Navarre from 1572 and King of France from 1589 to 1610. He was the first monarch of France from the House of Bourbon, a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, he was assassinated in 1610 by François Ravaillac, a fanatical Catholic, was succeeded by his son Louis XIII. The son of Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme and Jeanne d'Albret, the Queen of Navarre, Henry was baptised as a Catholic but raised in the Protestant faith by his mother, he inherited the throne of Navarre in 1572 on his mother's death. As a Huguenot, Henry was involved in the French Wars of Religion escaping assassination in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, he led Protestant forces against the royal army. Henry IV and his predecessor Henry III of France are both direct descendants of the Saint-King Louis IX. Henry III belonged to the House of Valois, descended from Philip III of France, elder son of Saint Louis; as Head of the House of Bourbon, Henry was "first prince of the blood."
Upon the death of his brother-in-law and distant cousin Henry III in 1589, Henry was called to the French succession by the Salic law. He kept the Protestant faith and had to fight against the Catholic League, which denied that he could wear France's crown as a Protestant. To obtain mastery over his kingdom, after four years of stalemate, he found it prudent to abjure the Calvinist faith; as a pragmatic politician, he displayed an unusual religious tolerance for the era. Notably, he promulgated the Edict of Nantes, which guaranteed religious liberties to Protestants, thereby ending the Wars of Religion. Considered a usurper by some Catholics and a traitor by some Protestants, Henry became target of at least 12 assassination attempts. An unpopular king among his contemporaries, Henry gained more status after his death, he was admired for his conversion to Catholicism. The "Good King Henry" was remembered for his geniality and his great concern about the welfare of his subjects. An active ruler, he worked to regularise state finance, promote agriculture, eliminate corruption and encourage education.
During his reign, the French colonization of the Americas began with the foundation of the colony of Acadia and its capital Port-Royal. He was celebrated in Voltaire's Henriade. Henry de Bourbon was born in Pau, the capital of the joint Kingdom of Navarre with the sovereign principality of Béarn, his parents were Queen Joan III of Navarre and her consort, Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme, King of Navarre. Although baptised as a Roman Catholic, Henry was raised as a Protestant by his mother, who had declared Calvinism the religion of Navarre; as a teenager, Henry joined the Huguenot forces in the French Wars of Religion. On 9 June 1572, upon his mother's death, the 19-year-old became King of Navarre. At Queen Joan's death, it was arranged for Henry to marry Margaret of Valois, daughter of Henry II and Catherine de' Medici; the wedding took place in Paris on 18 August 1572 on the parvis of Notre Dame Cathedral. On 24 August, the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre began in Paris. Several thousand Protestants who had come to Paris for Henry's wedding were killed, as well as thousands more throughout the country in the days that followed.
Henry narrowly escaped death thanks to the help of his wife and his promise to convert to Catholicism. He was forced to live at the court of France, but he escaped in early 1576. On 5 February of that year, he formally abjured Catholicism at Tours and rejoined the Protestant forces in the military conflict, he named Catherine de Bourbon, regent of Béarn. Catherine held the regency for nearly thirty years. Henry became heir presumptive to the French throne in 1584 upon the death of Francis, Duke of Anjou and heir to the Catholic Henry III, who had succeeded Charles IX in 1574; because Henry of Navarre was the next senior agnatic descendant of King Louis IX, King Henry III had no choice but to recognise him as the legitimate successor. Salic law barred the king's sisters and all others who could claim descent through only the female line from inheriting. Since Henry of Navarre was a Huguenot, the issue was not considered settled in many quarters of the country, France was plunged into a phase of the Wars of Religion known as the War of the Three Henries.
Henry III and Henry of Navarre were two of these Henries. The third was Henry I, Duke of Guise, who pushed for complete suppression of the Huguenots and had much support among Catholic loyalists. Political disagreements among the parties set off a series of campaigns and counter-campaigns that culminated in the Battle of Coutras. In December 1588, Henry III had Henry I of Guise murdered, along with his brother, Cardinal de Guise. Henry III thought that the removal of the brothers would restore his authority. However, the populace rose against him. In several cities, the title of the king was no longer recognized, his power was limited to Blois and the surrounding districts. In the general chaos, Henry III relied on King Henry of his Huguenots; the two kings were united by a common interest—to win France from the Catholic League. Henry III acknowledged the King of Navarre as a true subject and Frenchman, not a fanatic Huguenot aiming for the destruction of
Cocido or cozido is a traditional stew eaten as a main dish in Spain, Portugal and other Hispanophone and Lusophone countries. In Spanish, cocido is the past participle of the verb cocer, so cocido means "cooked." In Portuguese, the word cozido means "cooked","boiled", or "baked", being the past participle of the verb cozer. Spanish cocido is a cognate. Cocido is made of various meats and vegetables like cabbage, parsnips, potatoes and chickpeas Other foods can be added before serving. Due to the wide regional diversity of the dish, the word cocido is followed by the place of origin; the basic method of preparation involves slow cooking over a low heat. Cozido may be prepared with a wide variety of vegetables, meats and seafood. Ingredients vary across regions. Cocido makes for a complete meal. In the past, it was a popular dish among laborers, it was eaten during the winter, helping people who lived in homes with inadequate heating maintain their body heat. So, the vegetables used in cocido are winter vegetables like turnips and cabbage.
However, as vegetables are now available year-round, other vegetables may be substituted. One commonality among all the regional variants is that the cocido is served in multiple courses in the same meal; the first course is a soup, followed by a second course of the beans and potatoes used in the soup, with the meat and vegetables from the soup as the third course. Each course is known as a vuelco because the pot is turned over every time to empty out the ingredients, it has become popular in some areas to end with a plate of huevos estrellados. Some ancient recipes call for cocidos of up to fourteen courses, using an elaborate selection of ingredients. Although the cocido madrileño is most famous, many other types exist, such as cocido lebaniego and cocido montañés. During the 19th century, cocido was a common dish for servants in the homes of the wealthy. Too much would be made, the excess would be given to the poor. Alternatively, the leftovers were tossed with eggs to be served for dinner or the next day, giving rise to the dish ropa vieja as well as arroz al horno and arroz con costra in Valencian cuisine.
In Portugal, cozido à portuguesa is prepared with several vegetables, smoked sausages, other ingredients. Numerous regional variations exist throughout Portugal, the dish is considered part of the Portuguese heritage, it is a rich stew that includes beef shin, assorted offal, Portuguese smoked sausages and in some regions chicken, served with cabbage, turnips, rice and collard greens. It is served with olive oil and red wine. Cozido de grão is prepared with chickpeas as the main ingredient. In São Miguel Island, Açores, meaty cozido known as cozido das Furnas is cooked underground for four to five hours, with the natural heat from the volcanic activities. In Brazil, sweet potatoes and cassava are used. Bananas can be included in Brazilian cozido dishes
Cartilage is a resilient and smooth elastic tissue, a rubber-like padding that covers and protects the ends of long bones at the joints, is a structural component of the rib cage, the ear, the nose, the bronchial tubes, the intervertebral discs, many other body components. It is not as hard and rigid as bone; the matrix of cartilage is made up of glycosaminoglycans, collagen fibers and, elastin. Because of its rigidity, cartilage serves the purpose of holding tubes open in the body. Examples include the rings such as the cricoid cartilage and carina. Cartilage is composed of specialized cells called chondrocytes that produce a large amount of collagenous extracellular matrix, abundant ground substance, rich in proteoglycan and elastin fibers. Cartilage is classified in three types, elastic cartilage, hyaline cartilage and fibrocartilage, which differ in relative amounts of collagen and proteoglycan. Cartilage does not contain blood nerves. Nutrition is supplied to the chondrocytes by diffusion.
The compression of the articular cartilage or flexion of the elastic cartilage generates fluid flow, which assists diffusion of nutrients to the chondrocytes. Compared to other connective tissues, cartilage has a slow turnover of its extracellular matrix and does not repair. In embryogenesis, the skeletal system is derived from the mesoderm germ layer. Chondrification is the process by which cartilage is formed from condensed mesenchyme tissue, which differentiates into chondroblasts and begins secreting the molecules that form the extracellular matrix. Following the initial chondrification that occurs during embryogenesis, cartilage growth consists of the maturing of immature cartilage to a more mature state; the division of cells within cartilage occurs slowly, thus growth in cartilage is not based on an increase in size or mass of the cartilage itself. The articular cartilage function is dependent on the molecular composition of the extracellular matrix; the ECM consists of proteoglycan and collagens.
The main proteoglycan in cartilage is aggrecan, which, as its name suggests, forms large aggregates with hyaluronan. These aggregates hold water in the tissue; the collagen collagen type II, constrains the proteoglycans. The ECM responds to compressive forces that are experienced by the cartilage. Cartilage growth thus refers to the matrix deposition, but can refer to both the growth and remodeling of the extracellular matrix. Due to the great stress on the patellofemoral joint during resisted knee extension, the articular cartilage of the patella is among the thickest in the human body; the mechanical properties of articular cartilage in load-bearing joints such as the knee and hip have been studied extensively at macro and nano-scales. These mechanical properties include the response of cartilage in frictional, compressive and tensile loading. Cartilage displays viscoelastic properties. Lubricin, a glycoprotein abundant in cartilage and synovial fluid, plays a major role in bio-lubrication and wear protection of cartilage.
Cartilage has limited repair capabilities: Because chondrocytes are bound in lacunae, they cannot migrate to damaged areas. Therefore, cartilage damage is difficult to heal; because hyaline cartilage does not have a blood supply, the deposition of new matrix is slow. Damaged hyaline cartilage is replaced by fibrocartilage scar tissue. Over the last years and scientists have elaborated a series of cartilage repair procedures that help to postpone the need for joint replacement. Bioengineering techniques are being developed to generate new cartilage, using a cellular "scaffolding" material and cultured cells to grow artificial cartilage. Several diseases can affect cartilage. Chondrodystrophies are a group of diseases, characterized by the disturbance of growth and subsequent ossification of cartilage; some common diseases that affect the cartilage are listed below. Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is a disease of the whole joint, however one of the most affected tissues is the articular cartilage.
The cartilage covering bones is thinned completely wearing away, resulting in a "bone against bone" within the joint, leading to reduced motion, pain. Osteoarthritis affects the joints exposed to high stress and is therefore considered the result of "wear and tear" rather than a true disease, it is treated by arthroplasty, the replacement of the joint by a synthetic joint made of a stainless steel alloy and ultra high molecular weight polyethylene. Chondroitin sulfate or glucosamine sulfate supplements, have been claimed to reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis but there is little good evidence to support this claim. Traumatic rupture or detachment: The cartilage in the knee is damaged but can be repaired through knee cartilage replacement therapy; when athletes talk of damaged "cartilage" in their knee, they are referring to a damaged meniscus and not the articular cartilage. Achondroplasia: Reduced proliferation of chondrocytes in the epiphyseal plate of long bones during infancy and childhood, resulting in dwarfism.
Costochondritis: Inflammation of cartilage in the ribs, causing chest pain. Spinal disc herniation: Asymmetrical compression of an intervertebral disc ruptures the sac-like disc, causing a herniation of its soft content; the hernia compresses the adjacent nerves and causes back pain. Relapsing polychondritis: a destruction aut
Cholent or hamin is a traditional Jewish stew. It is simmered overnight for 12 hours or more, eaten for lunch on Shabbat. Cholent was developed over the centuries to conform with Jewish laws that prohibit cooking on the Sabbath; the pot is brought to a boil on Friday before the Sabbath begins, kept on a blech or hotplate, or left in a slow oven or electric slow cooker, until the following day. There are many variations of the dish, standard in both the Ashkenazi and Sephardi kitchens; the basic ingredients of cholent are meat, potatoes and barley. Sephardi-style hamin uses rice instead of beans and barley, chicken instead of beef. A traditional Sephardi addition is whole eggs in the shell. Ashkenazi cholent contains kishke or helzel. Slow overnight cooking allows the flavors of the various ingredients to permeate and produces the characteristic taste of cholent. Max Weinreich traces the etymology of cholent to the Latin present participle calentem, meaning "that, hot", via Old French chalant. One quoted folk etymology derives the word from French chaud and lent.
Another folk etymology derives cholent from the Hebrew she-lan, which means "that rested ". This refers to the old-time cooking tradition of Jewish families placing their individual pots of cholent into the town baker's ovens that always stayed hot and slow-cooked the food overnight. Another possible etymology is from Old French chaudes lentes. Hamin, the Sephardi version of cholent popular in Israel, derives from the Hebrew word חם, as it is always served fresh off the stove, oven, or slow cooker; the origin of this name is the Mishnaic phrase tomnin et ha’chamin, which provides the Rabbinical prescription for keeping food hot for the Sabbath without lighting a fire. In traditional Jewish families, Ashkenazi and Mizrahi, cholent or hamin is the hot main course of the midday Shabbat meal served on Saturdays after the morning synagogue services. Secular Jewish families in Israel serve cholent; the dish is more popular in the winter. Cholent may be served on Shabbat in synagogues at a kiddush celebration after the conclusion of the Shabbat services, at the celebratory reception following an aufruf or at bar and bat mitzvah receptions held on Shabbat morning.
Lighting a fire and cooking food are among the activities prohibited on Shabbat by the written Torah. Therefore, cooked Shabbat food, such as cholent or hamin, must be prepared before the onset of the Jewish Shabbat – by some as early as Thursdays and not than Friday afternoon; the pre-cooked food may be kept hot for the Shabbat meal by the provision in the Rabbinical oral law, which explains that one may use a fire, lit before Shabbat to keep warm food, cooked before Shabbat. Rabbi Zerachiah ben Isaac Ha-Levi Gerondi, the Baal Ha-Maor, went as far as to write that "he who does not eat warm food should be checked out to see if he is not a Min"; the reasoning beyond such austerity is that the Karaites interpreted the Torah verse, "You shall not a fire in any of your dwellings on the day of Shabbat" to indicate that fire should not be left burning in a Jewish home on Shabbat, regardless of whether it was lit prior to, or during the Sabbath. In Rabbinic Judaism however, the qal verb form ba‘ar is understood to mean "burn", whereas the pi`el form is understood to be not intensive as usual but causative.
Hence bi`er means "kindle", why Rabbinic Judaism prohibits only starting a fire on Shabbat. Ashkenazi-style cholent was first mentioned in the writings of Rabbi Yitzhak of Vienna. In the shtetls of Europe, religious neighborhoods in Jerusalem and other cities in Israel before the advent of electricity and cooking gas, a pot with the assembled but uncooked ingredients was brought to the local baker before sunset on Fridays; the baker would put the pot with the cholent mixture in his oven, always kept fired, families would come by to pick up their cooked cholent on Saturday mornings. The same practice was observed in Morocco, where black pots of s’hina placed overnight in bakers’ ovens and delivered by bakers’ assistants to households on Shabbat morning; the unique cooking requirements of cholent were the inspiration for the invention of the slow cooker. In Germany, the Netherlands, European countries the special hot dish for the Shabbat lunch is known as schalet, shalent, or shalet; these western Yiddish words are straight synonyms of the eastern Yiddish cholent.
The Jewish people of Hungary adapted the Hungarian dish sólet to serve the same purpose as cholent. Because of the similarity in function and name, sólet is confused with cholent or assumed to be the same dish. This, however, is not the case; the key ingredients in sólet are: beans barley onions paprika, optionally meat Sólet is the olde
The onion known as the bulb onion or common onion, is a vegetable, the most cultivated species of the genus Allium. Its close relatives include the garlic, leek and Chinese onion; this genus contains several other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion, the tree onion, the Canada onion. The name "wild onion" is applied to a number of Allium species, but A. cepa is known from cultivation. Its ancestral wild original form is not known, although escapes from cultivation have become established in some regions; the onion is most a biennial or a perennial plant, but is treated as an annual and harvested in its first growing season. The onion plant has a fan of hollow, bluish-green leaves and its bulb at the base of the plant begins to swell when a certain day-length is reached; the bulbs are composed of shortened, underground stems surrounded by fleshy modified scale that envelop a central bud at the tip of the stem. In the autumn, the foliage dies down and the outer layers of the bulb become dry and brittle.
The crop is harvested and dried and the onions are ready for use or storage. The crop is prone to attack by a number of pests and diseases the onion fly, the onion eelworm, various fungi cause rotting; some varieties of A. cepa, such as shallots and potato onions, produce multiple bulbs. Onions are used around the world; as a food item, they are served cooked, as a vegetable or part of a prepared savoury dish, but can be eaten raw or used to make pickles or chutneys. They are pungent when contain certain chemical substances which irritate the eyes; the onion plant known as the bulb onion or common onion, is the most cultivated species of the genus Allium. It was first described by Carl Linnaeus in his 1753 work Species Plantarum. A number of synonyms have appeared in its taxonomic history: Allium cepa var. aggregatum – G. Don Allium cepa var. bulbiferum – Regel Allium cepa var. cepa – Linnaeus Allium cepa var. multiplicans – L. H. Bailey Allium cepa var. proliferum – Regel Allium cepa var. solaninum – Alef Allium cepa var. viviparum – Mansf.
A. Cepa is known from cultivation, but related wild species occur in Central Asia; the most related species include A. vavilovii and A. asarense from Iran. However and Hopf state that "there are doubts whether the A. vavilovii collections tested represent genuine wild material or only feral derivatives of the crop."The vast majority of cultivars of A. cepa belong to the "common onion group" and are referred to as "onions". The Aggregatum group of cultivars includes both shallots and potato onions; the genus Allium contains a number of other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion, Egyptian onion, Canada onion. Cepa is accepted as Latin for "onion" and has an affinity with Ancient Greek: κάπια and Albanian: qepë and is ancestral to Aromanian: tseapã, Catalan: ceba, Occitan: ceba, Spanish: cebolla, Romanian: ceapă; the English word chive is derived from the Old French cive, which derived from cepa. The onion plant has been selectively bred in cultivation for at least 7,000 years.
It is a biennial plant, but is grown as an annual. Modern varieties grow to a height of 15 to 45 cm; the leaves are yellowish - to bluish green and grow alternately in a fan-shaped swathe. They are fleshy and cylindrical, with one flattened side, they are at their broadest about a quarter of the way up, beyond which they taper towards a blunt tip. The base of each leaf is a flattened white sheath that grows out of a basal disc. From the underside of the disc, a bundle of fibrous roots extends for a short way into the soil; as the onion matures, food reserves begin to accumulate in the leaf bases and the bulb of the onion swells. In the autumn, the leaves die back and the outer scales of the bulb become dry and brittle, so the crop is normally harvested. If left in the soil over winter, the growing point in the middle of the bulb begins to develop in the spring. New leaves appear and a long, hollow stem expands, topped by a bract protecting a developing inflorescence; the inflorescence takes the form of a globular umbel of white flowers with parts in sixes.
The seeds are glossy triangular in cross section. The average pH of an onion is around 5.5 Because the wild onion is extinct and ancient records of using onions span western and eastern Asia, the geographic origin of the onion is uncertain, with domestication worldwide. Food uses of onions date back thousands of years in China and Persia. Traces of onions recovered from Bronze Age settlements in China suggest that onions were used as far back as 5000 BCE, not only for their flavour, but the bulb's durability in storage and transport. Ancient Egyptians revered the onion bulb, viewing its spherical shape and concentric rings as symbols of eternal life. Onions were used in Egyptian burials, as evidenced by onion traces found in the eye sockets of Ramesses IV. Pliny the Elder of the first century CE wrote about the use of onions and cabbage in Pompeii, he documented Roman beliefs about the onion's ability to improve ocular ailments, aid in sleep, heal everything from oral sores and toothaches to dog bites and dysentery.