"Know your onion" is a strange expression, but for all its silliness it's still spoken in serious and somber tones by savvy and sophisticated people in the know. Being recognized for knowing one's onion is to be complimented for your expertise. Being advised to know one's onion is also the best advice you'll ever get.
While there are some practical reasons to discerning the difference between a Sweet Imperial and a Vidalia, the phrase runs much deeper than that, implying that to truly know one's onion - whatever your metaphorical onion may be - you must possess a certain level of experience, wisdom, and erudition, a knowledge that goes beneath the layers.
This country of Canada is most certainly not an onion, although a well-performed rendition of "O Canada" can still brings tears to eyes, like a photo of a flag-draped coffin returning from Afghanistan - but it's still a good analogue for this country.
Onions are strong, sweet and savoury, just as Canada can be. Tears tend to flow when someone suggests carving it up, and there are layers upon layers to explore.
Onions are also diverse, just as there are many different varieties of Canada, from East Coast to West, from the tip of southernmost Ontario to the farthest Arctic reaches in the north. Montreal and Toronto are just five hours apart by road but they are as different in character as New York and Paris. Halifax and Vancouver are on opposite sides of the country, over 6,000 kilometres apart, but still have many things in common.
While we hope this Canada quiz challenges and entertains, we always hope it enlightens as well. So - how well do you know your onion?
(Rules: Give yourself a point for every question you get right. Add up your points. If you did better than your friends, strut. If you did poorly then eat an onion.)
Geography - It's bigger than it looks.
1) Summertime means road trip time. If you were on a cross-Canada trip and you passed Bacon Cove, Come By Chance, Heart's Desire, Joe Batt's Arm, and Butter Pot Provincial Park, what province would you be driving in?
2) Still in Newfoundland on your summer road trip, you stop by the Newfoundland Museum in St. John's at 8:30 a.m. to admire the extensive Indian art. Suddenly, you remember you need to call your sister in Calgary. You walk outside and dial her number. She picks up sounding groggy. Why? What time is it in Alberta?