THE ONIONS (LEEKS, SHALLOTS, CHIVES)

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - MYTH/LORE

Onions are a multilayered, strongly scented and flavoured bulb vegetable. Their cousins are the elongated leek, the tiny shallot, and the long-stemmed chives, all of which are used liberally in many races' cuisines.

Appearance.
"Togaenul" ("Root-Weep"), the Thergerim name, describes this flavourful but pungent root vegetable accurately. Growing tangy green hollow stems above-ground and a white, multilayered bulb below the earth, all parts of the onion (and its family members) are edible and delicious. However, it contains a potent chemical that mists from the cut vegetable and reacts with the fluid in many life-forms' eyes to produce a mild acid, causing tears and, in humans, often a runny nose. Brownies tend to prefer the milder chives, as the larger globe onions' scent has been known to render them almost insensible with streaming eyes, seared nasal passages, and difficulty breathing for weeks. Return to the top

Territory. All members of this family, known as Alliums, or in elven as "Ae'lon" ("tear"), grow in both wild and cultivated forms. The wild forms, unusually enough, are less, not more, strongly flavoured, but can be used and prepared in the same way. Onions prefer a lot of water and not too much sun. Dwarves have had great success with some hybrid breeds of Togaenul which actually thrive underground, getting only a few candlemarks of magelight each day. The entire plant grows pearl-white, stems and leaves as well, but the same rich flavour and crunchy texture has been bred true.
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Usages. All parts of the Ae'lon family can be used in cooking and flavouring food; usually the bulb of the onion, leek and shallot, and the stems of the chives are the most popular. The bulbs are sliced and often fried, or added to stews, soups, and other savoury dishes. They can be roasted with meat, or skewered and grilled over a flame. The onion is also used medicinally; some believe consumption of onions will prevent against the ague, while others swear by an onion poultice for trouble of the lungs, chest, or throat. Orcs are said to eat the raw bulbs directly from the ground, wiping the dirt off on their thighs and biting into them as a man might an apple. Brownies enjoy small stands of chives planted at the edge of their crops to provide shade and repel insects, and the puffy purple flowers the size of a Brownie's head are an additional decorative bonus. Chive flowers are often soaked in oil or vinegar to flavour the liquids for later use in subtle cuisine.
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Myth/Lore. Everyone knows that the scent of onions will keep dragons away... don't they? Return to the top

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