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Is it just me? Or is raw onion in salad the work of the devil?asks SARAH VINE 

Summer is upon us, and with it the inevitable salad.

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Perceived wisdom has it that we women love our salad. I’m not so sure. Given a choice, I’d almost always rather have a slice of pizza or a macaroon. Ideally both.

I only pretend I like salad because it’s good for me and stops me getting any fatter. It’s actually the least fun option on any menu.

The food industry is clearly also trying to make us feel less sad about the salad thing, which is why modern salads are liable to contain extra ingredients designed to spice things up. A few seeds, the odd crouton, maybe a lardon or two all help lessen the tedium of eating leaves.

But there is one ingredient I just cannot stomach: raw onions. Hands up who likes raw onion? No one? Thank you. That’s because it’s smelly, indigestible and extremely anti-social.

What kind of maniac wants to spend the rest of the afternoon sitting at his or her desk, burping up the vegetable equivalent of hot lava and causing colleagues to pass out every time you open your mouth?

And yet they all do it. Hide the raw onion, that is. Pret, Leon, Marks & Spencer, the local sandwich shop: it’s like some perverse little game.

There you are, about to tuck into your nice saintly salad, when the faintest whiff of it reaches your nostrils. Lurking beneath the lettuce, cowering next to the cucumber — raw bloody onion!

Of course, then the whole thing is ruined. Raw onion contaminates everything within a five-inch radius, meaning that even if you do painstakingly pick it out, piece by festering piece, everything else will still taste of it.

Lunch is doomed. You may as well just go the whole hog and wash it all down with a garlic smoothie.

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