- The Plate
The vegetable that treated gunshot wounds
Onions have so much going for them, even gladiators were massaged with onion juice before entering the arena. Here's what else they're known for.
One of the most expensive meals ever eaten—barring Cleopatra’s show-stopping vinegar cocktail with dissolved pearl—was an onion.
At least, the eater thought it was an onion. He was a (nameless) sailor in the 1630s, on board a ship transporting a cargo of tulip bulbs at the height of the European tulip craze. Now nicknamed tulipomania, this was the dot-com bubble of the day, in which speculators drove the price of tulip bulbs, recently introduced from the seraglios of the Middle East, to unsustainably astronomical heights. (Predictably, the market crashed, leaving many tulip investors ruined.) The clueless sailor, who said only that he thought his meal remarkably blah-tasting for an onion, had chowed down on a bulb of Semper Augustus, then