Onions are a plant bulb provided in food preparation for the flavour they include to food. Your taste can range from savoury to warm to sweet.

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If a recipe simply calls for “onion”, it means a “Globe Onion”, which is the variety, yellow (aka brown) or white, that has come to be our unsung, workaday-hero onion because that its express taste and great storage abilities.

Roughly, there room two types of onions: warehouse onions and sweet onions. That sort of distinction is an extremely arbitrary, though — you can just together easily class them on form or colour.

Storage onions — yellow or white onions — last fine in storage, and add a savoury keep in mind to dishes. Sweet onions — such together red, Spanish and Vidalia — include a touch of sweetness to a dish.

When purchase onions, pick firm onions that are hefty for your size; don’t buy people that have sprouted, or that have actually mould patches. Onions need to be dry, no damp. The skin should be crackly and also tight approximately the top.

Growing and harvesting onions

Onions are a member the Lily family.

Onion growers class onions based on how numerous hours the daylight are required to gain them to kind bulbs.

Onions form a bulb when the temperature and the variety of daylight hours hit the right combination for lock which triggers your clock. Till that happens, onions usage the daylight to produce a good deal of peak growth prior to they form bulbs (and the an ext top growth, the larger the bulb.) when the day reaches the right number of hours for that range of onion, the onion will certainly stop developing top growth, and type a pear instead. Consequently, growers must pick the right kind of onion for how far north or south they are. See different entries on Short-Day Onions, intermediate Day Onions, and Long-Day Onions.

The dimension of the bulb that ultimately forms relies on the size of the “stalks”, and also the number of them. There will be 1 ring in the onion for every stalk that formed, and the bigger the stalk, the larger each ring will be.

Bulb formation will stop though during dry, very hot or an extremely cold weather.

Onions are prepared to pick as soon as their tops have wilted, please over and dried out. After gift pulled from the ground, they are usually left on top of the ground in the garden because that a day or two to dry, if the weather is cooperative. Onions then need to be “cured” before storing. Curing takes around two weeks in a warm, ventilated area; castle are all set to store once the external skin is dry, and also the necks are fully dry and tight.

Storage Onions

These onions room high in sulphur compounds and also lower in water, so they store better, however have an ext zap to them. Usually finest cooked, come sweeten them. Will have 3 to 5% sugar content. Generally, the an ext an onion provides you tear up, the much better it will store.

The the contrary to storage Onions is Sweet Onions; see different entry.

Yellow globe Onions (aka Brown Onions)

Yellow globe (aka Brown Onions) can be classed as storage onions, as they keep well. These are the onions that human being mean when they just say “yellow onions.” having a greater sulphur content than White globe Onions, castle are much more likely come make her eyes tear up. They generally have a somewhat much longer storage life than White world Onions. They additionally caramelize far better than the white ones, ending up being a richer brown. Your flavour additionally changes to sweet and mild as soon as carmelized. Inside the onions have a yellowish tinge. Sometimes, castle are referred to as “Brown Onions” in referral to your brown skin.

White globe Onions

White globe Onions are additionally classed together storage onions.

These space the onions that people mean as soon as they simply say “white onions.” They have actually a tangier, less complicated taste than yellow onions.

Cooking Tips



1 pound = 500 g = 4 – 5 tool onions = 3 big onions = 2 to 3 cup chopped, depending upon how coarse friend chop it.4 cups sliced onion = 1 lb / 500 g (peeled) = 2 cup after cooking1 very huge onion = 300 g / 10 oz = 2 cup coarsely chopped onion1 big onion = 5 oz = 150 g = 1 cup chopped onion1 medium onion (2 1/2 to 3 oz / 85 g) = 1/2 come 2/3 cup chopped = 1 tablespoon onion powder1 tiny onion = 40 g come 70 g / 1 1/2 oz come 2 1/2 oz = 1/4 come 1/3 cup chopped = 1 teaspoon onion powder = 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes1 very tiny onion = as much as 3 centimeter (1 inch) approx in diameter = approximately 40 g / 1.4 oz in weight1 cup chopped onion = 5 oz = 150 g1 cup finely diced onion = 8 oz = 225 g1/2 cup dried onion pieces (largish) = 1 tablespoon onion powder = 10 g / .35 oz1 cup dried minced onion = 120 g (4 oz)

Storage Hints

In fridge, keep onions in a plastic bag because that 5 days. To keep cooked onions, put in a sealed container in fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze.

Don’t save chopped onion, either new or cooked, in a metal container or bowl as the onion have the right to discolour the metal.

Do not store chopped onion in oil, even in the fridge, for longer than 3 come 5 days. The danger is botulism. Oil is not a preservative: in truth it offers the perfect oxygen-free setting in i m sorry any Clostridium botulinum spores existing can germinate.

Onion does not need to be blanched before freezing. Dice the onion, put on a baking sheet and also put in freezer. When frozen, rest it up and also put into freezer bags.

For lengthy term storage, drying is possibly the best means to preserve onion. View our companion site, healthy Canning, because that our committed page on drying onion . Use for seasoning in cooked dishes.

To deserve to onion, a press canner must be provided as they room a low-acid food. A tested process was emerged only for onions that 2 to 3 cm (1 inch) in diameter; the process does not use to larger onions, even reduced up. The experiment directions show up in the food conservation book, So straightforward to Preserve. Because that an online variation of these directions, see right here (link valid as of July 2018). Drying returns a greater and more versatile product.

In a root cellar kind environment, you have the right to store many onions (not Sweet Onions) for at least 3 months — longer under appropriate conditions. Save out of bright light, together light can cause them to come to be bitter. Nothing store near potatoes, as the gas the potatoes provide off can shorten the onions’ warehouse life.

If onions sprout in warehouse at a time the year as soon as they can be planted out, and you have gardening space, rather of discarding them tree them for a constant supply of cost-free green onion stalks come snip. Lock can additionally be planted in containers.

History Notes

Onions have actually been grown since at least 3000 BC in China. They space probably native to main Asia. The children of Israel stated them as one of the things they missed around Egypt.

Onions were an extremely much a component of roman inn diet, though later on the upper classes saw them together peasant food. Romans introduced them throughout Europe. Apicius contains them in his recipes, though sparingly — leeks were viewed as more acceptable come eat. Diocletian’s price controls (301 AD), which by the way failed, contained onions.

Onions were seen as “peasant” food throughout the middle Ages.

Onions were introduced to the brand-new World by the Spanish and also British homesteaders (though the natives already knew strains of distantly connected wild onions.)

Literature & Lore

Shakespeare wrote about onions impact on the breath:

“And, many dear actors, eat no onions no one garlic, because that we room to utter sweet breath; and also I execute not doubt but to hear castle say, the is a sweet comedy. No much more words: away! go, away!” — Bottom. A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Plot IV, scene 2. Shakespeare.

He likewise wrote about onion’s effect on the eyes:

“And if the boy have actually not a woman’s giftTo rain a shower of commanded tearsAn onion will do well because that such a shiftWhich in a napkin being close convey’dShall in in spite of enforce a watery eye.” — Shakespeare. The Taming of the Shrew, Prologue.

“Do not, from a foolish feeling of ‘gentility’, refuse yourselves onions, which friend like. You will not it is in a bit an ext like united state if you never ever touch an additional onion to her lives’ end.” — Tickletooth, Tabitha (pseud. ). The Dinner Question. London: Routledge, Warne and also Routledge. 1860. Web page 16.

The ireland writer Jonathan Swift (1667 – 1745), in his city “Verses produced women who cry apples”, composed the following about onions:

“Come, monitor me by the smell,Here are fragile onions to sell;I promise to use you well.They make the blood warmer,You’ll feed like a farmer;For this is every cook’s opinion,No savoury food without an onion;But, lest her kissing must be spoiled,Your onions should be completely boiled:Or rather you might spareYour mistress a share,The secret will never be known:She can not discoverThe breath of her lover,But think it as sweet as her own.” <2>Verses for women who cry apples. Swift, Jonathan. Miscellanies: The Fourteenth Volume. 2nd Edition. London, England: Hitch, Davis, Dodsley and Bowyer. 1751. Web page 207.

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Ozark tradition hosted that onion skins should always be burnt, not discarded:

The hulls or skin of particular vegetables, on the various other hand, are always burned, never disposed that in any kind of other manner. I have known family members where the females made a an excellent show of conserving onion peelings, i m sorry were very closely gathered up and burned in the fireplace or the cookstove. One mrs told me that world who throw onion peel the end on the floor are likely to experience some financial reverses, and also that she knew personal of a situation in i m sorry carelessness in this matter resulted in a Civil war veteran to be deprived that his pension.” — Randolph, Vance. Ozark Superstitions. Columbia college Press, 1947. Chapter 4.

Language Notes

The English indigenous “onion” was “unyun” in middle English, influenced both by the French “oignon” and also the Latin “unio.”