A strong-tasting bulbous biennial having slender tubelike leaves. The onion was one of the items of diet for which the mixed crowd and the Israelites yearned in the wilderness after being liberated from Egypt. (Num. 11:4, 5) In that land of Israel’s captivity onions were extensively cultivated. The Greek historian Herodotus (II, 125) even tells of an inscription that listed onions among the foods provided for the laborers on a certain Egyptian pyramid. In Egypt, onions, usually tied together in a bundle, were offered to the deities, although the priests were not permitted to eat them. The onions of Egypt have been described as being soft, and therefore more easily digestible than other varieties, as well as having a sweet taste rather than a sharp or acrid one.