The exact origin of the onion is unknown. The onion may have originated from central Asia, but the vegetable may also have grown wild all over the world. The cultivation of the onion traces back over 5,000 years to China, Iran and West Pakistan.
Onions were one of the earliest cultivated crops because of their durability. Onions were likely to withstand the winter months without spoiling. The vegetable was also easy to grow, transport and take root in various climates and soil conditions.
Around 3500 B.C., onions were cultivated in Egypt where they were revered. Ancient Egyptians used the onion as a symbol of eternity because of the onion’s concentric rings. Egyptians buried onions along with pharaohs, and paintings of onions appear in pyramids and tombs.