Onions add flavor to practically everything, they’re available year-round, they’re cheap–who cares if they sometimes make us cry?
When to Buy the Freshest Onions
Yellow and Spanish onions are available fresh year-round. Some varieties of sweet onion are more seasonal.
How to Choose Onions at the Store
Choose firm onions with dry, papery skins. Avoid onions that have brown spots, which may be a sign of rotting, or onions with any emerging sprouts.
How to Chop Onions
Watch this short video, How to Peel and Chop Onions.
How to Store Onions
Store whole onions anywhere cool, dry, and out of the sun. They can keep for months. For partially-used onions, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or in a sealed container, and refrigerate. The onions will keep for two or three days.
How to Grow Onions
Onions like cool weather, and can be planted and harvested earlier than most garden vegetables. They need sun and fertile, well-draining soil. There are two types of onions: long-day and short-day varieties. Ask the friendly folks at your local garden center which type grows best in your area.
Know Your Onions
Bermuda and Spanish: yellow or white; mild flavor
Italian: red; mild flavor
Globe: yellow, white, or red: stronger flavor
Pearl: white; mild, marble-sized
Maui, Vidalia, and Walla Walla: pale yellow or white; sweet and mild flavor
No More Tears
When onions are cut, they release sulfuric compounds that irritate our eyes. To reduce crying, chill an onion for 30 minutes, then cut off the top and peel off the outer layers. The root end contains most of the sulfuric compounds, so chop it off last.