Onion rings were definitely created in the 20th Century as part of the Great Fast Food Boom, right? On the contrary, my deep-fried friends, onion rings have been around longer than the United States of America. We've written about historical cooking enthusiasts James Townsend & Son before, when they revealed their incredibly tasty-looking colonial fried chicken recipe for the Fourth of July. Much like that recipe, their onion rings seem somehow fresher and zestier (and cheesier!) than their modern equivalents—although there's no way to pretend they're not both cooked in a big ol' pot of boiling oil. (Recipe below)
18th Century Onion Rings
- Cut Spanish onions (or any large, strong-tasting onion) into 1/2-inch thick rings.
- Boil lard (or oil) in a big ol' pot. Be careful. It's boiling oil.
- Beat 3 eggs in a bowl.
- Add 5 tablespoons of cream, a dash of salt and a pinch of pepper.
- Add 1/4 cup flour added to beaten eggs.
- Add 4 oz finely grated Parmesan cheese, continue beating & mixing.
- Dip rings in your batter individually before dropping them into the boiling oil.
- Fry until golden brown on bottom side and then flip and fry a few minutes more.
- Remove and place on cloth (or paper towel).
- Eat plain or served with a mustard and melted butter sauce.
Enjoy your American colonial onion rings!