The onion has a layered history with roots stretching back centuries. This tear-inducing vegetable derives its name from the Latin word unio (OOH-nee-oh), meaning single white pearl. The ancient Egyptians would put onions in the tombs of their pharaohs as symbols of eternity, while the common people of Egypt ate massive quantities of raw onions, a practice that must have led to some interesting dating stories. The Roman Emperor Nero used to consume bunches of leeks in an effort to sweeten his singing voice—perhaps that’s why he’s more famous for his violin playing. Even one of America’s largest metropolises finds itself hearkening back to the potent bulb; Chicago, a Native American word, means “stinking onions.” Today, the versatile onion frequents many a kitchen, bringing flavor to almost any dish and the perfect punch to any meal.