What are their variations ?


Cooked in all sauces, onions are honored in many savory recipes. Sliced, then added raw, caramelized or simply a little tender in our dishes as a vegetable or condiment, they bring them flavor and many benefits for our health. However, it is not uncommon for a recipe to suggest using it without giving more details. However, between red or yellow onions for example, the differences are notable. In this article, we invite you to discover all these subtleties to always choose the best variety from the market gardener to add to your raw or cooked dishes.

1) Yellow onions for long cooking

yellow onions
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Yellow onions are certainly the most ‘all-purpose’. They are grown and cooked all over the world. It must be said that the straw onion, as it is sometimes nicknamed, offers a pronounced and generous taste which turns out deliciously when cooked. Once browned, even caramelized, it adds a real plus to all simmered and traditional dishes (sauces, soups, pies, stews, gratins, roasts, etc.). Of all, it is undoubtedly the one that best supports long cooking. It also has a long shelf life provided it is stored in a dry, cool and dark place. Only problem: it has a smell as strong as its flavor and can easily make us cry if we don’t take a few steps to avoid it.

2) Red onions to eat in salads

red onions
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The red onion is very crunchy, and has a slightly spicy and tangy flavor in the mouth (without tearing!). This is why it is not uncommon to use it in salads, burgers and other sandwiches to give them dimension and a more interesting texture. Unlike his cousin, he does not support cooking as well which makes it lose all its freshness. To take full advantage of its sweet flavor, prefer to consume it raw.

We nevertheless gladly forgive this small defect in this pinkish or light purple onion, because it can also be used in our pickle recipes house (vegetables macerated in vinegar). In addition, when you like sweet and salty, you can use it with your eyes closed for candied recipes as an accompaniment to meats. Sugar helps to reduce its spiciness. Finally, note that like the yellow onion, it can be kept for several months in a cool, dark place.

3) Green onions: infinitely sweet

spring onions green onions
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The green onion or spring onion is smaller and sweeter than the others. Unfortunately, it is not found in a boot only in spring or summer. However, it is always a pleasure to find him again on this occasion, because one can might as well use it raw (in salad, in vinaigrette or to eat as an aperitif) than cooked since it supports cooking very well. It is not uncommon to sauté it with vegetables or to find it in roasts and stews. Its only drawback is that this early vegetable does not keep for long unless it is frozen. Count here about a week in the vegetable compartment of your refrigerator.

4) Brittany pink onion

pink roscoff onion from Brittany
Credits: iStock

Often less known than the others, the Brittany pink onion or Roscoff onion is only produced in Brittany and has a PDO. Smaller than the yellow onion, this ancient and unique variety stands out for its surprisingly sweet and pleasant flavor. If you don’t like the strong and pungent taste of other onions, this one will surely win you over! In addition, it can be eaten both raw and cooked and its conservation is also very good.

Some questions/answers on these different onions…

What is the best onion for health?

In reality, they all bring more or less the same nutritional values. Low in sodium, they are rich in fiber, allicin, vitamins A, C, E, B6 and folic acid, minerals (potassium, iron, phosphorus, calcium, manganese, zinc, copper or even selenium) as well as in quercetin. Be aware, however, that the more colorful an onion, the more antioxidants it will provide. In addition, a raw onion will contain more allicin (a compound with antibacterial and antifungal properties) and more vitamin C, which is very fragile in the heat of cooking.

What is the most digestible onion?

It may seem surprising, but the raw onions are easier to digest than cooked onions. If you don’t want to eat them raw, you can blanch them for two minutes in boiling water before cooking them. You will thus avoid the digestive disorders common in fragile stomachs (flatulence, bloating, etc.).

Credits: Pixabay/Jill111

How to Avoid Bad Breath When Eating Onions

Raw onions are certainly more digestible, but they can give bad breath. To avoid it, soak the onion in cold water for an hour, changing the fluid two or three times during the operation. It is also possible to soak it in water and vinegar for half an hour if you are in a hurry. In this case, remember to rinse it before cooking it!

How to soften the taste of onions in cooking?

To satisfy the taste buds of the whole family, and even children who may find it difficult to bear the strong and bitter taste of onions, you can soak them in water for a few minutes before wiping them with a clean cloth. This rinse will soften it effectively.

We offered you the same analysis for the different varieties of potatoes. If you like to cook good meals, we invite you to consult this information to always choose the right potato according to the recipe to be made.

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