As an ingredient, onions are a robust and complementary flavor we all crave. But now, the pungent vegetable is showing up in the form of jewelry in Iran. Though the sudden popularity of onion jewelry in Iran is not so much a fashion statement as political commentary. According to a report from BBC Monitoring, Iranians are creating satirical onion jewelry in protest of recent surges in onion prices. Nobody is really wearing the things out and about, but are designing faux onion-centric jewelry and sharing photos on social media. Some of the results are ingenious.
The cost of onions has nearly tripled in Iran recently, from about 1,000 to 1,500 tomans per kilo to 4,400 tomans (the equivalent of a jump from about 39 cents to 1 USD), according to the BBC. The BBC further reports that the country’s Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati has said that the black market and lower production are to blame for the cost increase, which has sparked the satirical connection between onions and luxury goods. However, the Mashhad Farmers Union says the government is at fault because they did not purchase as many onions as usual from farmers in 2016. The union claims this has led to less production of onions and thus higher costs.
Across Twitter and Instagram, Iranians have been sharing photos of everything from onion engagement rings and necklaces bearing onions, to bags of onions pseudo-secured with padlocks.
Though the jewelry is fake and the photos are indeed hilarious, the upset is over the high cost of onions is very real. Since they are so much more expensive now, let’s hope everyone who bought giant plastic bags of onions quickly removed them from the bags and are keeping them stored in a cool dark place.