Onions, the Culinary Delight as a Food Source


Onions are vegetables that also go by the name of bulb onions or common onions. It is a small perennial herb plant that grows to about two feet tall. It takes about three to four months from the time of planting to harvest.

Onion is a bulbous plant with a sharp, pungent smell that is notorious for drawing tears. This comes from a sulfur compound called Allyl propyl disulfide. Spanish red onions have less of this compound making them ideal for use in salads.

Onions are related to chivesleeks, and garlicshallots.

The vegetable is generally readily available all year round be it from the farm or from the shops. In the stores, they can be available fresh or dehydrated. They can also be bought canned, frozen, pickled, or powdered. If buying fresh onions, one must identify the ones that do not show sprouting or have signs of mold. The onion must not be soggy or soft when pressed. The outer skin should be somewhat dry but not brown.

They can be stored for several days to a couple of weeks if stored properly in a cool dark place away from moisture and humid conditions. They can also keep well in the refrigerator and taken out when needed for food preparation.

Because of their strong flavors, they are sometimes referred to as Herbs or Spices depending on the context in which they are used.

Onions Used in Cooking Recipes

Onions can be eaten raw or cooked in various ways depending on the dish or recipe. To get to the edible part of the onion, trim either end using a sharp knife. Peel outer layers of skin until you find the fresh thick whorls which should be smooth, dry, shiny, and firm. The onions can then be chopped, sliced, diced, processed in a blender, or whatever is desired according to the recipe.

The top green leaves are also edible and are called scallions.

Onions are one of the most used ingredients in cooking. They are used in recipes ranging from salad, starter, soup, and sauce preparations. They are found as part of vegetable dishes, pie, stew, entrée dishes, or health drinks you name it. You can either sauté, deep fry, bake, roast, shallow fry, braise, boil, and practically cook them using any method.

Onions are one of the three primary ingredients in the preparation of mirepoix which contains carrot and celery as the other primary ingredients. These bulbs, as well as shallots, are common ingredients used in pickle making.

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