Cooking Fresh: Know Your Onions

In Praise of Onions
Margaret Boyles


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Do you know your onions? Cooking Fresh breaks it down, defining different types of onions that are definitely worth trying!

Cooking Fresh: Know Your Onions

DRY, OR BULB, ONIONS include spring/summer sweet onions, such as Vidalia and Bermuda, and the stronger-flavor, fall/winter storage onions, such as Yellow Globe. They may be white, red, or yellow and are harvested after the tops have died down. Sweet onions have thin skins and a mild taste that makes them perfect for eating raw or using in briefly cooked dishes. Storage onions have thick layers of skin, are more pungent, and do well in dishes that cook for a while.

RED ONIONS are usually the mildest and often are eaten raw or grilled. White onions are a bit more pungent and often are sautéed and used in salsas or Mexican cuisine. Yellow onions have the strongest flavor; they are great for soups and other cooked dishes.

True GREEN ONIONS, also called bunches onions, are bred specifically to have a small bulb and long stalks, both of which are edible. (Scallions fall into this category.) You can also use a dry onion as a green onion by harvesting the young green tops before the bulb has grown to full size.

SHALLOTS are milder than onions and often used in French cooking. The small bulbs grow in sections called cloves, similar to those of garlic. The skins can be reddish brown, yellow, or gray.

PEARL ONIONS are small (about 1 inch wide), mild onions with red, white, or yellow skins. Although commonly pickled and used in cocktails, they also can be cooked as a side dish or added whole to stews and casseroles.

For more tips and over 160 delicious recipes, check out our Cooking Fresh book-agazine! These recipes help to turn nutritious, garden-fresh ingredients (from asparagus to zucchini) into delicious menus, meals, and treats for family and friends. Sprinkled throughout are hints and tips to help cooks enjoy the just-picked flavor and benefits of the ingredients.

~ By  Almanac Staff

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Reader Comments

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I have been looking for a

I have been looking for a smallish, white onion that is supposed to be very, very mild. My fiancé is determined that it is out there but I have searched until I am out of options. He actually likes to eat pieces of onion, raw, when eating his meals....What am I looking for??? Where can I get them?? Thank you for any imput!

Vidalia are the most mild

Vidalia are the most mild onions though medium-size.  Pearl onionions are small and much milder than large bulb onions. Spring onions and scallions tend to have a milder taste too. Hope this helps.

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