Saturday, March 26, 2011


It's probably happened to some of you. You're eagerly waiting for your hamburger or sandwich and take a big first bite, only to be unexpectedly greeted with an abnormal crunch and some pungent flavor. "Oh no," you say, "Did I forget to say no onions?" You look under the bread only to see onions cut into a nice brunoise. Of course they're not the big slices you can easily pull off the bun. If you're nodding your head right now, you're one of us, you are an anti-onionian. For the rest of you, anti-onionians are people who carefully scan the menu to see if a dish, particularly hamburgers and sandwiches, have onions. If so, they exercise their rights as a diner to demand that no onions be placed on said dish. Generally, anti-onionians have only one request, "No Onions." These are usually not high-maintenance customers who place an order like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally.
At this point you're wondering why on earth are you writing about something as trivial as onions? Why you ask? Why? Because I am an Anti-Onionian! Wow, it felt good to put that out there. It's time someone said something. It's time to take a stand for all of the other Anti-Onionians out there. Questions need to be answered and myths need to be debunked.

Question: If you don't like them, why not just pick them off?
A: Okay, this is just what my family used to tell me when I was little and we'd order the supreme pizza. This always drove me crazy, as I enjoy a simple pizza, not some salad buffet topped pizza. If the slices of onion are more like the size of the red onion slices, it's an easy removal process. However, if they chop them up in the little cubes and hide them in the cheese, it becomes a restorative pizza project. Just when you think you have removed them all, you bite into an onion using a pepperoni slice as an umbrella. This applies to sandwiches and hamburgers as well. While they frequently have the cheese issue, you also run into the mayonnaise and mustard being used as an adhesive to keep the onions from being removed like some warning tag on the underside of a couch cushion. If I don't like them, how about I ask you to leave them off? What if I were allergic? Maybe we need onions to be treated like peanuts.

Myth: You Anti-Onionians are too small of a voice to make a difference.
How dare you! We are a lot larger than you may think. I can't tell you how many times I've been out to eat in a group and have had everyone request no onions. Unfortunately, there are no statistics out there to resolve this debate. One would think that if the majority don't prefer onions in this environment, they would be relegated to the 'optional topping' category. If any action were to come from this post, my request would be that people would have to ask for onions rather than ask that they be excluded.

Question & Myth: You're an alleged "foodie," yet you don't want onions around? You are a fraud!
First off, name-calling is not necessary. I am no fraud, and I don't want onions eradicated from all dining establishments. I respect the flavor and depth that onions can provide. Finely chopped onions sautéed in olive oil are a fantastic start to many sauces, especially a great tomato sauce. In fact, if I am including them, I usually chop them superfine so I don't encounter an unsavory onion cube. The finely chopped onion can quickly dissolve into the sauce, which adds the depth without the crunch. In some circumstances, I keep them large, so they're easy to remove.

Anti-Onionians, stand up and let your voice be heard! Do not accept that disappointing crunch that shocks you with your first bite. Don't let onions become the standard topping on a sandwich or a hamburger. Chant with me, hold the onions! Hold the onions! Hold the onions!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I guess this means no french onion soup. I personally hate biting into a large slice of onion so I like mine finely sliced or diced.