National Onion Rings Day
Also known as
National Onion Ring Day
annually on June 22nd
Legend has it that French King Louis XI requested a new snack be made for him in 1469. He was presented with onion rings, he didn't like them, and then he had their inventor killed. While this was the end of the inventor, thankfully, this was not the end of onion rings. Made of onions cut into rings (or sometimes of onion paste) and dipped into batter or bread crumbs and then deep-fried, they are popularly eaten nowadays as a side dish or on their own.
Even after taking King Louis XI out of the equation, onion ring origins still are clouded in grease. A recipe for "Fried Onions With Parmesan Cheese" appeared in The Art of Cookery Made Easy and Refined, a cookbook by John Mollard published in 1802. It called for "cutting onions into 1/2 inch rings, dipping them into a batter made of flour, cream, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese then deep frying them in boiling lard," and to serve them “with a sauce made of melted butter and mustard.” Early print recipes include one for "French Fried Onions" that appeared in Middleton, New York's Daily Times in 1910, and one for "deep-fried onion rings that are dipped in milk then dredged in flour" that was in New York Times Magazine in 1933 as part of a Crisco advertisement.
When it comes to restaurants, the Pig Stand, founded in Texas in the early 1920s, lays claim to being the inventor of onion rings. But it wasn't until A&W started selling them at their drive-ins in the 1960s that their popularity grew at fast-food restaurants and in general. This popularity remains today, and On National Onion Rings Day, onion rings are enjoyed at restaurants, at home, and wherever they can be found!