All you need to know about … Onions
Wondering what the difference is between red, white and brown onions? When should you use each? Is there a difference in flavour? Why do onions make you cry and what can you do about it? We’ve got all the answers for you so read on.
Brown onions are the most common type of onion and they keep longer than other varieties. They have a brown or almost yellow skin and a creamy flesh. Brown onions are a great all-round versatile cooking onion with their strong flavour.
Red onions are milder and sweeter and have a purplish skin and white flesh tinged with red. Red onions are often eaten raw in salads and sandwiches or lightly cooked with other foods.
White onions are generally not as strong or pungent as brown onions. Milder varieties of white onion can be eaten raw.
While onions are a fabulous addition to a wide variety of dishes, they do have that one problem that leaves us in tears. Yes, onions produce the chemical irritant known as syn-propanethial-S-oxide that stimulates the eyes' lachrymal glands so they release tears. So what can you do to stop the tears? Well over the years there have been many methods tried including chewing gum while chopping, cutting onions in water, holding a matchstick in between your teeth, wearing goggles and more. What we have found works best is quite a simple solution and that is to freeze the onion before chopping it. Simply place the whole onion in the freezer for about 15 minutes before you want to use it and you’ll find that those tears won’t be a problem. If you forget to freeze the onion or you’re short on time our next best suggestion is to chop onions under a vent. Place the chopping board on the stove and turn on the overhead vent and you’ll find that the vapours won’t affect your eyes as badly.