June 22 is National Onion Ring Day.
The Huffington Post rated the onion rings at five casual dining chains in its Chain Food Showdown series. “There were high highs and low lows with this one,” they reported. “We loved the thinner ones that gave ample room for breading and spice. Crunch was the key factor to the stand-outs though—a soggy onion ring not only offers bad texture, but also never tastes as good.” The bottom line: Avoid the onion rings at The Cheesecake Factory, which were found to be soggy and flavorless. Your best bet is Chili’s, where the onion rings had a “nice, slightly sweet flavor.”
Never mind the flavor… Are the onion rings easy to digest? In this 1933 ad, Mrs. Tasker suggests frying them in Crisco to keep your stomach settled. During the Great Depression, people had to be satisfied with less. If it didn’t make you sick to your stomach, that was good enough.
Now, let’s travel to a 1977 home economics class, where Bob outshines Jane by making onion rings like Mrs. Paul’s does, the natural way. (But Jane probably built a better birdhouse than Bob in shop class.) I don’t know what school this is, but they have a pretty great teacher-student ratio—only two students in the class.
Vintage commercial, Mrs. Paul’s Onion Rings (1977)