WHAT IS A RED ONION?
Onion bulbs in general are basically the underground base of the plant stem. As daylight hours lengthen (past 6), the plant stops making leaves and starts devoting resources to the bulb which swells. These red violet vegetables in particular are the mildest and sweetest of the onion family. This versatility means they’re often used in both raw and cooked dishes. However remember that cooking an onion diminishes its flavor while to a lesser extent seasoning neighboring ingredients. This is why many cooked recipes will favor a yellow or white onion instead.
WHY ARE RED ONIONS GOOD FOR YOU?
They are higher in fiber and flavonoids (antioxidant pigment) compared to white or yellow onions. Like all onions, they also contain quercetin which has anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine benefits.
WHEN ARE RED ONIONS IN SEASON?
They can be planted in March and again in August in the States. Down south in Australia they are a February to May or April to September harvest in colder areas.
HOW SHOULD ONIONS BE STORED?
Don’t refrigerate them. Instead keep the onions in a bag or place with good air circulation. These bulbs prefer darkness and colder temperatures (above freezing to around 40 F / 4 C). Stored in this way onions can keep for up to a year. You can also freeze them (after peeling and chopping them up) in a zip lock bag for up to 6 months. Make sure to date the outside of your bag so you don’t forget when you froze them!
WHAT IS THE PROPER WAY TO CUT A RED ONION?
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HOW CAN I CUT AN ONION WITHOUT CRYING?
The sulfur present in this vegetable is what’s causing you to tear up. When this irritant becomes airborne and comes into contact with your tear ducts, you end up looking like a reject from a soap opera. In order to avoid this, there are a few tricks. The easiest is learn the proper way to quickly and cleanly cut an onion with a very sharp knife. This minimizes exposure time. Some people chill the onion before prep but that doesn’t help much since the onion soon warms up. Soaking beforehand helps, but at the cost of losing all of the bulb’s flavor. Other tricks include having good air ventilation to blow the sulfur away or even wearing goggles. If you’re tired of being the victim and instead want to make the onion cry, the good news is it’s possible! The bad news though…