The 101 on Onions


As an onion addict, it is important to know the various kinds of onions and which ones are best for what kind of recipes and more importantly, which varieties offer the best tastes. Despite what one may believe, all onions are not created equally. So, if you’re recipe calls for “an onion” without specifying which kind, it can be confusing to those who understand the differences that this vegetable offers. While guessing which onion your non-specific recipe calls for can be surprising, having a little bit of lowdown on onion varieties can make the guessing game much more delicious for you.


Red Onions: salads, burgers, salsas and pickling

Red onions are easily accessible in the majority of supermarkets – all year round. They are a bit more pungent than other varieties and also offer a bit of a spicy punch. The fresher you get them, the more mild the onion-y taste will be. As you can see from the best ways to use red onions; salads, burgers, salsas and for pickling, they are best raw but can also be used to cook with as well. As a bonus, you can soak red onions in water for a duration of 30 to 60 minutes and it will actually decrease the sharp flavor of them.

Yellow Onions: soups, stocks, sauces, stews and sautéed

The standard gold onion is definitely a favorite for most, and that is because this variety is absolutely delicious and one of the cheapest ones in the super market. They also keep for a significantly longer time than other onions. As for the taste, yellow onions tend to be a little more complex and spicy but are a tad more hardy and pungent which makes them hard to eat raw. The most popular way to eat them is in the kitchen, cooking on low heat. Soups, stocks, sauces, stews and sautéed are some incredible options.


White Onions: white sauces, salads, salads, salads and more salads

If there is one onion you need for salads, whether it’s a broccoli salad, zucchini pasta salad, or caesar salad, it’s the white onion. Despite it being one of the least popular varieties, white onions do hold their own on the taste and cooking scale. They’re sharper than the yellow kinds and have a crisp, clean taste when enjoyed raw or cooked. They also keep long, but not as long as yellow onions, and should never be stored in the refrigerator.


Sweet Onions: roasted veggies, salads, sandwiches, grilled, sautéed or raw

Sweet onions are often larger and have a thinner skin than other kinds. They also offer more of a sweet taste, and are sometimes enjoyed like an apple. This could also be because of the less pungent smell that they have as well. Since sweet onions aren’t very complex, they should be stored in the fridge as they don’t keep too long. As for cooking them, you can do whatever you want with them and they’ll taste absolutely incredible.

Now, all you have to do is pick your onions.


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