One of the most important ingredients in the kitchen , onions are used in just every nation's cuisine, adding a depth of flavor to dishes, although they are a delicious vegetable in their own right.  Onions grow in a single bulbs or in clumps.  They are sold as either dry onions or green onions.  Dry onions are left in the ground to mature where they develop a papery brown skin; green (spring) onions are pulled out while young and the bulb is still small.  Onions are also sold dried, as flakes, in a powder-like onion salt or as fried flakes.

Store in a cool dark place, but not in the fridge as their strong odor will permeate into other foods.  If stored correctly, they will keep for up to two months except for spring and red onions.

Cooking:  Slicing   onions causes the cell walls to rupture, releasing the sulphurous contents.  When mixed with air, these turn into allyl sulphate, which irritates the eyes.

To remove the smell of onions from your hands, rub them with lemon juice or vinegar.

If frying onions, don't chop them in food processor as they release too much liquid and will steam rather than fry.  To bring out their sweet flavor, sweat hem gently over low heat without letting them brown.

Types of Onions
Yellow - the most common and available all year round.  Varieties include a sweet onion called vidalia, Spanish onions, pickling onions and cipolline, small flat onions.White - Generally mild and slightly sweet. Can be used for cooking or salads.  Pearl onions are small white onions, which are ideal for pickling but can also be added whole to stews and casseroles.
Delicious in salads, adding both flavor and color.  Good for barbecues and grilling.  When cooked, red onions have less flavor than other varieties, although they can be slightly sweeter.



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