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The History of Onion Rings

It’s National Onion Rings Day, so we’re delving into the history behind this iconic food. The first known recipe for onion rings appears in a British cookbook written by a chef named John Mollard called The Art of Cookery, Made Easy and Refined. It was published in England in 1802. Surprisingly, Mollard's early onion rings weren’t all that different from the fried snack we enjoy today! His recipe for “fried onions,” as he called them, involved dipping half-inch-thick onion slices in batter, frying them in lard, and serving them with a side of mustard-spiked melted butter. However, Mollard is not the only one with a claim to onion ring fame. Some people say that deep-fried onion rings were invented by cooks working at the Texas-based Pig Stand during the 1920s. Since the Pig Stand cooks may not have been aware of Mollard’s invention, it is entirely possible the onion ring was conceived of twice. After all, they say that great minds think alike, and onion rings are certainly a tasty idea!

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