Sunday, July 01, 2007

Raw onions, everywhere

One thing that surprises and disappoints me, almost daily, in Nederland is the huge quantities of raw onion to be found in food.

The best example of this is with the Dutch Haring, which is absolutely smothered in raw onions.

See if you can spot the fish in the image below:

I can’t understand this. When you eat raw onions, even the smallest snippet, the taste stays in your mouth for at least the next 5 hours, and worse other people can smell it on your breath for much longer. Very anti-social.

I don’t mind it so much with things like Haring, because I can easily avoid Haring, but when it comes to the ready-made salad meals, or even bags of salad, to be bought from the Albert Heijn, it’s very annoying. I now check each pack to make sure I’m not paying for a salad that is one quarter raw onions.

It’s the same in all restaurants, including the canteen at work. The salad bar has several bowls of different salads to choose from, but many of them contain large quantities of finely sliced onion the pieces of which are very tricky to pick out. The quantity of onion infiltrating the salad bar seems to get more and more towards the end of the work week, possibly because other, less offensive, ingredients are running low.

Of course onions are basically the same as Tulip bulbs, which the Dutch have plenty of. I don’t think I’m actually facing tulip bulbs in my salads, but during the “hunger winter” of 1944-1945, the Dutch did eat tulip bulbs as other food was confiscated and sent to Germany. Understandably, the Germans didn’t think the tulips were very tasty and so the Dutch were allowed to keep them. Apparently tulip bulbs are very sweet, they made you sick or give you a rash, so maybe “normal” onions are now a special treat for the Dutch?

1 comment:

Sarah de Mul said...

Invader stu recently wrote a post related to onions/bulbs - so funny: