Hate gets a bum rap in our culture, especially today, when we’re all supposed to be lovey-dovey and smothered in fuzzy pink chocolate roses and whatnot.Love conquers all and blah blah blah. But hate has its own pleasures and sometimes it’s just as satisfying to indulge in them as those of love.
So, let me take a moment amidst all the cooing and wooing to lay a little hate down for you. Trust me, it’s good for the soul. A little hate on the thing in this world that I hate the most:
Lord do I hate onions. I hate their chemical taste, their insect wing texture, their tears-inducing stench. I can’t tell you how many otherwise pleasant bites of a sandwich, burger, pizza, or other food have suddenly and irrevocably been ruined by that sudden, foul crunch followed by a flavor I can only describe as formaldehyde-esque. What’s worse, many restaurants will not even advertise the presence of this evil vegetable in their food, so even when I order something without onions or specifically say “no onions, for the love of all that is holy,” tragedy still strikes.
I went to Xoco for lunch on Friday and ordered the chorizo torta because it was one of the few items that didn’t have “onions” in the ingredient list. But it still had onions on it. I nearly cried. A nearly perfect, delicious sandwich ruined by the presence of disgusting, awful onions. Shakespeare himself could not conceive of such tragedy.
Now, you are going to argue with me. You’re going to say something like, “but you don’t even taste them!” which, by the way, makes you sound like an idiot because why bother with the money, time, and prep to add an ingredient that doesn’t have taste? Also, there are foods you don’t like, too, and you don’t see me going “WHA?! YOU DON’T LIKE HAGGIS?!” as if you just told me that you light kittens on fire for kicks (which, by the way, I do).
It’s not that I’m not an adventurous eater. Raw horse, fried crocodile, congealed cow’s blood, snails, tripe, eel, and tongue, among other culinary wonders have happily passed my tongue. Foods I disliked as a child (anything not fried) have become favorites. But I will hate onions until the day, centuries from now, when I die.
My parents, who love onions, will tell you that my hatred of onions can be directly traced back to a moment when I was four and living in Bedford, Texas. A girl down the street named Kimmy was at our house and we had McDonald’s burgers for lunch. Kimmy scraped the onions off hers, telling me onions were gross. Bowing to peer pressure or a 4-year old’s ideas of romance, I did the same. And from that day hence, I have never happily eaten an onion. I’ve never gone back. Onions were dead to me, then and forevermore. My parents blame Kimmy for ruining onions for me, but I would personally like to thank her for converting me to the side of righteousness.
Kimmy, wherever you are, thank you. You opened my eyes. You showed me how good food can taste when not overpowered and infected by the sour, medical taste of onions. You made me a better person.
And I really hope you didn’t ended up learning to like onions.