Appalachia Appalachian Dialect Gardening

Jacob’s Onions

best way to eat green onions

Jacob’s onion noun A green onion.
1975 Purkey Madison Co 53-54 A variety of vegetables grew in long neat rows; tender green onions (called Jacob’s onions), peas, beets, carrots, radishes, lettuce, beans, parsnips, tomatoes, cucumbers, and sweet and Irish potatoes. Ibid. 106 I will never forget the endless bundles of crisp sping onions with their long white heads and slender green blades, which my mother prepared for market. Mama called them “Jacob’s Onions.” I don’t’ know why unless it was because they were so prolific.

Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English

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I have never heard green onions called Jacob’s Onions have you?

Tipper

 

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    April 24, 2019 at 8:40 am

    Ethelene, your “Wilted Salad” sounds like what I call Kilt Lettuce with the exception of sliced boiled eggs which I’ve never tried. The only thing that can improve Kilt Lettuce is to substitute Ramps for or add to Green Onions. This with a glass of Cornbread & Milk is all I have for many a meal. I have only had the luxury of being able to do this is since I have retired and don’t have to worry about the odoriferous nature of the Ramps and have a wonderful wife who knows how I love my Ramps and tolerates me.

  • Reply
    Dee Parks
    May 11, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Never heard of Jacob’s Onions but the picture looks just like the Green Onions I grew up knowing and loved to eat. Oh, my they are wonderful with black eyed peas and cornbread. Yum,. Yum!!!

  • Reply
    RB
    May 11, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Nope.
    We always called them Green Onions, although I have heard them called Spring Onions since moving down south.
    I use to like them best diced and fried up in butter with scrambled eggs, but a few years ago, I developed a terrible allergy to onions and can’t eat them anymore. :o(
    God bless.
    RB
    <><

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 11, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    A handful of onions splayed out on an old rusty shovel. I love old tools and I love green onions and I love the photo!
    I wouldn’t know a Jacob’s onion if I tripped over one. Do you know what a Barrel onion is? I do! But, I don’t remember anyone other than my Daddy call them that.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    May 11, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Folks….
    Meant to type Job’s tears (plant)….guess I was caught up in Jacob’s onions and these old typing digits and brain had a collision at the synapse!…ha
    Thanks Tipper….or you can correct it for me! ha….I didn’t plant any Job’s tears…out of seed but mine just didn’t grow well here either!

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    May 11, 2017 at 9:27 am

    I’ve racked my poor brain and all I keep coming up with is Jacob’s ladder.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    May 11, 2017 at 9:27 am

    I’ve racked my poor brain and all I keep coming up with is Jacob’s ladder.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    May 11, 2017 at 9:27 am

    I’ve racked my poor brain and all I keep coming up with is Jacob’s ladder.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    May 11, 2017 at 9:27 am

    I’ve racked my poor brain and all I keep coming up with is Jacob’s ladder.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    May 11, 2017 at 9:21 am

    Tipper,
    I had a relative named (Jacob) that threatened harm for stealing his onions! However, I don’t think it could be quite the same as they were my Father’s onions and his name was Jacob! My brothers especially loved to pull the onions and eat them fresh right out of the row…prompting Mom to yell…leave “Jacob’s onions” alone, this was one of her facetious remarks!
    My ponder and thinking is this…. Jacob of Genesis traveled by walking, laid down to rest and picked a stone as a pillow…He dreamed of a ladder (stairway) and angels descending down to earth and ascending back up the tall stairway to heaven….
    Now then….it is known that there is a old time onion called the “Traveling onion”, “Egyptian walking onion” or just called “walking onion”….very prolific onions…
    I think the onion mentioned is a variant of these onions….The bulbs form on top of the onions slender green stems, after they have “ascended toward the sky” (stairway to heaven), then the little bulblets “descend the ladder to earth” by dropping down into the soil and keep walking like Jacob…
    Thus Jacob’s Onions…….or not!
    Thanks Tipper,
    So many of our ancestors named plants and vegetables after Biblical stories….remember Jacob’s tears?

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    May 11, 2017 at 9:11 am

    I have never heard that expression. Offhand, I can’t think of any connection between the biblical Jacob and onions, though the children of Israel mentioned onions in the list of things they missed from Egypt. That seems rather a long stretch though.
    Hope someone can shed light on this.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    May 11, 2017 at 8:34 am

    No, I have never heard green onions called “Jacob’s Onions.” But oh, the delight and memory of going to our early garden in Choestoe and gathering a panful of leaf lettuce. Then going to the “onion bed,” for my dear daddy, who was an excellent gardener and farmer, knew exactly how to plant all the seeds/bulbs from which we enjoyed their bounty when the garden “came in,” (was ready for gathering and use). I pulled the tender onions with a small bulb already formed, and the green stalks, succulent fare, too, to go with the lettuce. In the kitchen, each leaf of lettuce was gently washed, and the onions were cleaned. Both lettuce and cut-up green onions were put in a serving bowl. Meanwhile, bacon strips were frying on the stove, and eggs were boiling. Sliced eggs, crumbled bacon and bacon drippings for “salad dressing” were added to the bowl and stirred around. Served for lunch or dinner (only we called these meals in country vernacular, dinner for the noon meal, and supper for the evening meal), this was a delicious and much-welcomed early spring dish from the fresh tender vegetables of our early garden! The lettuce/onions/boiled egg sliced and crumbled bacon with hot bacon drippings over all we called “Wilted Salad.” Anyone eaten “wilted salad” lately? If you have the makings for it, I highly recommend it!

  • Reply
    William Dotson
    May 11, 2017 at 8:10 am

    That is a new one on me.

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