|Alternative names||Onion bloom, onion blossom, onion 'mum|
|Place of origin||United States of America|
|Main ingredients||Onion, batter|
|Cookbook: Blooming onion Media: Blooming onion|
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 in the United States when it appeared as "Bloomin' Onion", a charter feature of the Outback Steakhouse when that national chain opened in 1988. It remains prominent on its menu.
The owners of Scotty's Steak House in Springfield, New Jersey claim to have invented the dish in the 1970s. 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". It is usually served with a restaurant-specific signature dipping sauce.
Despite the implied association with Australian cuisine due to Outback Steakhouse's branding, the dish is almost unknown in Australia (much like the Outback Steakhouse chain itself) and rarely served outside of the United States.
The dish, under the name Awesome Blossom, was also a very popular part of the Chili's menu, at least in the UK, until it was removed in 2001, possibly for health reasons cited below.
The egg wash and deep frying preparation process of the dish means it is high in calories; 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 somewhat lower fat content of 116 grams, including a combined 44 grams of saturated and trans fat. When it existed, the similarly styled 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. There is a healthier variety, which contains 522 calories and 16g of fat. For reference, the US Reference Daily Intake for fat is 65g and for sodium is 2300 mg, assuming a 2000 calorie diet, while typical daily food energy recommendations lie in the range of 2000-3000 calories.
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