You may ask why I should choose to reflect on the lowly onion. So pale and strong in its commonplace role in the kitchen. It marches forth into stews and soups alongside routine bedfellows of celery, carrot and spuds. We barely give onions a second thought as we shop and chop and cook. Yet, they were once of prominent importance and played a role in love and war and cuisines of the ages. Not always so mundane were these tender, translucent orbs of pungency.