There are so many reasons why most recipes include the use of onion s. One of which is because onions are a great way to build flavor in a dish.
Onions get their distinctive flavor from sulfur, which they absorb from the soil they’re grown in. when cooked, the various sulfur compounds in onions, react with one another and produce new flavors ranging from nutty to sweet.
However, there’s a downside to that entire delicious, flavor producing sulfur because it seems virtually impossible to chop an onion without crying.
Why Onions Make You Cry
According to the Institute of Food Science and Technology, Onions make us tear, because it contains certain chemicals. ‘’Onions contain naturally occurring amino acids called sulfoxides, and when you cut into them, their cell walls become damaged’. This causes the sulfoxides to be converted into a super-annoying and irritating gas. The gas wafts from the onion into your eyes, which start to sting and produce tears in an attempt to wash the gas away.
Here are few tips to help reduce the stress of crying while cutting your onion
Cut the Onion Underwater
Cutting an onion under water will prevent the sulfuric compounds from reaching your eyes and causing you to tear. If you want to try this method, take safety precautions — use a wide, flat dish to provide maximum workspace or try putting your cutting board in the sink and cutting the onion under cold, running water.
Freeze the Onion
Leaving the onion for minutes in the freezer will definitely reduce your level of irritation while cutting an onion, but it will be a little tougher to cut (owing to the fact that it is partially frozen) and it will be difficult to remove the papery, outermost layer.
Put a Match in Your Mouth
Sounds silly, but holding an unlit match (from a matchbook) between your two front teeth while cutting an onion will keep you from tearing up. The theory is, The red end of the match absorbs the sulfuric compounds before they can reach your eyes.
Rub Lemon Juice on the Blade of the Knife
An easy fix if you have the ingredient on hand, simply cut a lemon in half and then rub it on the blade of your knife before cutting your onion. Note that, you’ll have to refresh the knife by rubbing the lemon on it after every few cuts of the onion.
Use a Very Sharp Knife
Cutting an onion damages its cells and causes it to release irritating compounds, so use a sharp knife (which damages fewer cells); it can help you avoid unnecessary tears.
Keep a piece of Bread in your mouth
Sounds silly but holding a piece of bread in your mouth while you cut an onion will significantly reduce or eliminate the amount of eye irritation you experience. The theory here is that the bread absorbs the sulfuric compounds before they can reach your eyes.