are there onion varieties that don’t cause tears


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are there onion varieties that dont cause tears

Onions are a popular ingredient in many dishes – but they often leave us in tears! Is there a type of onion that won’t cause this reaction? Let’s investigate!

It turns out that some onion varieties contain lower levels of sulfur compounds. These compounds are the ones to blame for triggering our tear-inducing reaction. So, if you want to avoid the drama, you should choose these types of onions.

One of these is the Sweet Onion. It’s renowned for its mild flavor and reduced pungency. It contains lower sulfur content compared to other types, so you’ll cry less while prepping meals. Plus, its subtle taste profile makes for a delightful culinary experience without the waterworks.

A study conducted by the National Onion Association confirmed that certain sweet onion varieties have significantly lower levels of enzymes and sulfurous compounds. These are the ones that make our eyes water when cutting or chopping onions. So, next time you’re grocery shopping, pick up one of these tear-resistant onion options!

Why do onions cause tears?

Onions have an amazing ability to make us cry. But why? It’s caused by a gas called syn-propanethial-S-oxide. When onions are sliced, enzymes turn sulfoxides into sulfenic acids. This then reacts with the air and creates the gas. It stimulates our tear glands.

But why do onions make this gas? Scientists aren’t sure. Maybe it’s a way to stop animals eating them. Or perhaps a side effect of cutting them.

Did you know, ancient Egyptians worshipped onions? They believed their concentric rings and ability to regrow meant they were eternal. They were even buried with pharaohs! Onions have had an important part in history.

Onion varieties that don’t cause tears

Tired of tearing up while cooking onions? Fear not! There are a variety of tear-free onion varieties available. Sweet onions, like Vidalia and Walla Walla, have a lower sulfur content, making them milder in flavor and less likely to produce tears. Shallots are another option, as they are smaller and have a milder taste. Cipollini onions are small and flat, with a sweeter flavor than regular onions. Spring onions are young onion bulbs with a mild flavor and fewer irritating compounds. Leeks offer a milder, sweeter taste and contain less sulfur compounds. Lastly, pearl onions are small and sweet-tasting, producing minimal amounts of tear-inducing substances.

Refrigerating onions before slicing can also help reduce tears. Doing so slows down the enzymes that cause tears, resulting in a less intense reaction when cutting.

Centuries of experimentation with onion strains have led to the creation of milder and less irritating varieties. So, if you love onions but not the tears, there are plenty of options available. Enjoy without shedding a tear!

Other methods to prevent tears when cutting onions

Tears and onions often go together. But there are ways to avoid them! Here are some tricks:

  1. Use a sharp knife so you don’t crush the onion cells and release more irritants.
  2. Put the onion in the fridge for 20 minutes before cutting to slow down enzyme release.
  3. Cut under running water – this washes away the irritants.
  4. Wear goggles or sunglasses – this creates a physical barrier.
  5. Try lighting a candle nearby.
  6. Soak the onion in water before slicing.
  7. An old wives’ tale says put a piece of bread in your mouth. But no scientific proof of this!

Give these techniques a go and see which one works best for you!


In search of a tear-free onion? Culinary enthusiasts have been trying for ages – with no luck yet. All onions contain enzymes that release irritating gases when cut, so tears are inevitable. But don’t give up hope! We’ve gathered some tips to help.

One is to chill the onion before cutting, as this slows down the enzymatic reaction. Or, wear goggles or put a fan nearby to disperse the gases. You can also try chopping under running water – this can reduce tearing effects, according to The Journal of Food Science.

Finally, scientists are experimenting with gene-editing techniques to suppress the enzyme that causes tears. This avenue shows promise for future onion consumption.

So, although no entirely tear-free onion exists yet, there are lots of strategies available to reduce eye irritation. From chilling to genetic experiments and water immersion techniques, we can all try to lessen our teary burden in the kitchen!

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs on Onion Varieties That Don’t Cause Tears:

Q1: Are there onion varieties that don’t cause tears?

A1: Yes, there are onion varieties that are known to be less tear-inducing due to lower levels of certain compounds. These include sweet onions, such as Vidalia and Walla Walla onions, as well as some hybrid varieties specifically bred for reduced tear production.

Q2: What causes tears when chopping onions?

A2: Chopping onions releases enzymes that break down sulfur compounds, resulting in the release of propanethial S-oxide gas. When this gas comes into contact with the eyes, it forms sulfuric acid, which leads to the tear response as the body tries to flush out the irritant.

Q3: Do all onions make you cry?

A3: No, not all onions make you cry to the same extent. The tear-inducing effect varies depending on the onion variety and its sulfur compound content. Some onions have lower levels of these compounds, which decrease tear production.

Q4: Can cooking onions prevent tears?

A4: Cooking onions can reduce their tear-inducing effects. Heat breaks down the enzymes responsible for creating propanethial S-oxide gas, thus minimizing the amount of tear-causing gas released during cooking. However, even cooked onions may still have a mild tear-inducing effect.

Q5: Are there any techniques to minimize tears while cutting onions?

A5: Yes, several techniques can help minimize tears while cutting onions. Some methods include chilling the onion in the refrigerator before chopping, cutting the onion near a running water source, using sharp knives to make cleaner cuts, or wearing onion goggles to protect the eyes.

Q6: Does rinsing onions reduce tear production?

A6: Rinsing onions under cold water before chopping can potentially reduce tear production. It may help wash away some of the sulfur compounds on the onion surface, reducing the overall irritant effect. However, this method might also reduce the flavor of the onion slightly.

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