Around the world there are many rituals for a young man just entering manhood. For it has been established in most societies that at coming of age a young man must be tested to determine if he is brave For men need to know that their fellows will have the courage to stand with them in time of danger or battle. This ceremony also makes a young man aware that he is a part of something far greater than himself, a band of brothers, a natural and exclusive society dedicated to protecting hearth, home and country, a club devoted most of all to idea the it is our inalienable right to watch football (or its equivalent in other nations) on Sunday afternoons without being asked to go shopping or to take out the recycle bins.
Manhood in some cultures is attained by dint of a sexual coming of age. It is attained in others by a bout with a bottle of vodka and a whirling polka. (The combination of which is likely to produce extreme queasiness.) The Jewish culture, I believe, has the one requiring the most courage. However, I will refrain from discussing it on the grounds that every time I think about it, I wince. In America, the melting pot of the world, a formal ceremony for induction into manhood has somehow fallen into disuse. Yet below the surface of our enlightened society the test still lingers and is imposed upon our youth in the form of...the ONION.
Indeed, wherever young men gather the ritual continues. I can still remember my friends saying, "Hey, a real man can eat an entire onion raw!" I must confess to a love of onions yet at my own coming of age I was daunted by the idea. I am proud to say that I became a man at ten years of age after a medium sized Vedalia onion, two cans of Coca-Cola and a belly-ache.
Luckily, French onion soup does not require the consumption of whole raw onions. It does, though, require quite a number of cooked ones.