The lowly onion has a ton of uses. Did you know that it’s the only basic ingredient found in every single solitary cuisine around the world? It adds a wonderful flavor and a pungent aroma to every recipe it’s in.
When you buy onions, be sure to look for firm onions that are free of cuts and blemishes.
Types of Onions
There are two main classifications of onions: the green onion (or scallion) and the dry onion.
Green onions are often eaten raw on salads or used as a garnish.
The dry onions have a juicy flesh and are covered with a dry papery skin. They come in a wide range of sizes, shapes and flavors.
If a recipe just says “chopped onions” buy the “yellow”onions. 88% of all onions eaten are the yellow onion. (It’s not the most original name but it certainly is descriptive!)
Another type of yellow onion is the Vidalia onion which is the sweetest and juiciest of them all.
It looks just like a regular yellow onion, but tastes quite different from the all-purpose onion. Look out for the sign at the grocery store.
Red or purple onions, another example of the dry onion, are often eaten raw or on salads and hamburgers.
They have a vibrant color and tend to be a bit sweeter than the yellow onion.
Onions can last for several weeks (if not months) without compromising their taste or nutritional value. However, you must be sure to store them in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place.
Once you cut an onion, wrap whatever portion you don’t use in plastic wrap, and put it in the refrigerator. It will keep about 4 days.
I’m Not Really Crying: How to Prevent Crying When Cutting Onions
Some onions make you cry like a baby, others seem to have no effect on your eyes.
Unfortunately, you can’t tell in advance which is which, just from looking at the onion. You just have to cut into it and hope for the best.
A really sharp knife actually makes a difference as well when cutting an onion. Some say “the sharper the knife, the less you cry.”
Peeling the onion under running water can help a little if the onion is really bothering your eyes
You could also try freezing the whole onion for about 20 minutes before you cut into it. That always works for me!
An Onion A Day?
Americans eat on average about 19 pounds of onions per year. Yikes! That’s a lot of onions – but not compared to the onion consumption of many other countries around the world!
As Julia Child once said: “It’s hard to imagine a civilization without onions.”
Here are a few more startcooking.com’s posts on onions:
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