A blooming onion, onion bloom, onion blossom, or onion 'mum is a dish consisting of one large onion which is cut to resemble a flower, battered and deep-fried. It is served as an appetizer at some restaurants.
The dish was popularized nationally when it appeared as 'Bloomin' Onion,' a charter feature of the Outback Steakhouse when that national chain opened in 1988. The dish remains prominent on its menu. The owners of Scotty's Steak House in Springfield, New Jersey also claim to have invented this dish in the 1970s but is still yet to be proved. Its popularity has led to its adoption as an appetizer at various other restaurant chains, most notably Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon, where it is known as the "Texas Rose." The blooming onion is usually served with a restaurant-specific signature dip.
Despite the implied association with Australian cuisine due to Outback Steakhouse's branding, the dish is almost unknown in Australia (except for Australian branches of the American Outback Steakhouse chain), and rarely served outside of the United States.
The egg wash and deep frying preparation process of the blooming onion means it is high in calories. In round numbers, a human at rest expends about 2000 calories per day; a single blooming onion with dressing contains approximately 3,000 calories and 134 grams of fat. A study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest found a slightly lower fat content of 116 grams, including a combined 44 grams of saturated and trans fat. When it existed, the similar style Awesome Blossom at Chili's was ranked "Worst Appetizer in America" by Men's Health magazine in 2008 for the unusually high totals of calories and fat, with 2,710 calories, 203 grams (1,827 calories) of fat, 194 grams of carbohydrates, and 6,360 milligrams of sodium, with as much fat as 67 strips of bacon.
See also 
- French fries
- List of hors d'oeuvre
- Onion rings
- Poutine - French Canadian combination of fries, cheese curds and gravy
- Waffle fries
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