#GoodFoodSeries – Onion

“Onion,” watercolor.

“Banish (the onion) from the kitchen and the pleasure flies with it. Its presence lends color and enchantment to the most modest dish; its absence reduces the rarest delicacy to hopeless insipidity, and the dinner to despair.” – Elizabeth Robbins Pennell, columnist

The onion is a staple in many dishes of many cultures and offers tremendous flavor to whatever it comes into contact with. From sweet onions to white, red, yellow, green, leek and shallot ones, the flavor possibilities are virtually endless.

Onion Nutrition Label. Created by Keanna.

There is conflicting research regarding where this tear-inducing vegetable originated. Some say central Asia, others say the Middle East (Iran/western Pakistan). Regardless, onions have been used medicinally and even for mummification practices over 5000 years ago. Onions were found in the body cavities of mummies and seen as a representation of eternal life due to the seemingly infinite nesting of circles in its anatomy [1].

Onions, also referred to as “Nature’s Ninja,” contains many nutrients essential to building immunity, warding off diseases and cancers. It is also a source of prebiotics–essential for a healthy gut.

Today’s meal is courtesy of award-winning Chef Jernard Wells, also known as the The Chef of Love,  who will show you how to prepare Shallow Fried Catfish with Vidalia Onions and Hot Water Cornbread. He hosts New Soul Kitchen on CleoTV. Check out a clip from the show on how to prepare the meal below:


[1] “Onion History,” National Onion Association.

#GoodFoodSeries – Watermelon

“Watermelon,” watercolor.

“I’ve been drankin… watermelon!” When you’re in the grocery store and can’t keep your eyes off that phatty… >. Nothing like a perfectly sweet watermelon. It’s a refreshing summer delight that will satiate both hunger and thirst simultaneously! The watermelon originated in Africa and has made its way to farms and gardens all across the globe in the form of over 1,200 varieties [1].

Watermelon Nutrition Label. Created by Keanna.

Did you know watermelon can technically be considered a fruit and a vegetable? When consumed as a fruit, its flesh is often “cubed, balled, sliced and enjoyed fresh.” When consumed as a vegetable, the rind can be “stir-fried, stewed and often pickled [1].” What an elite food!

Even with all of that in mind, there are minimal carbs, vitamins and minerals in watermelon. It is comprised of over 90% water though, so eat your water! 🙂

Rather than share a recipe here, I wanted to highlight social work done through culinary experience at Indigo in Houston, TX. Chef and owner Jonathan Rhodes created a multi-course meal entitled “Descendants of Igbo.” Per an article on the experience as featured in the Houston Chronicle, watermelon was on the menu. “…a bracing watermelon soup course called Affirmation of a Stereotype… serves as an indictment against the notion that all [B]lack people like watermelon [2].” All Black people definitely don’t.

Historically, racist images of Black people in America with a watermelon slice in-hand perpetuated that stereotype. A comedian even joked about not eating watermelon in front of white people because of the weight of that stereotype. An article in the Atlantic explains this in great detail. Here’s a excerpt:

Free [B]lack people grew, ate, and sold watermelons, and in doing so made the fruit a symbol of their freedom. Southern whites, threatened by [B]lacks’ newfound freedom, responded by making the fruit a symbol of [B]lack people’s perceived uncleanliness, laziness, childishness, and unwanted public presence. This racist trope then exploded in American popular culture, becoming so pervasive that its historical origin became obscure.” [3]

Remember the symbol. Remember the origins. I’d like to challenge you to find a new way to use watermelon if you like it. I hope you enjoy!

[1] Watermelon Facts,” The National Watermelon Promotion Board.

[2] “Restaurant Indigo serves up neo-soul food with a side of history,” Morago, G. Houston Chronicle. 2019.

[3] “How Watermelons Became a Racist Trope,” Black, W. The Atlantic. 2014.