Kitchen lovers, cooks and chefs, do you know allium cepa, as it is botanically called, does not just get you teary. No doubt, onions are common staples in many households used for culinary and medicinal purposes. For women especially, there is hardly any dish they would make without onions. But have you ever wondered what makes you cry inside of it? Now let’s unpeel the truth behind what gets your eyes teary. According to history, the cultivation of onions dates back to over 5,000 years ago. Beyond just getting you teary, do you know that onions are low calorie, low carbohydrate and fat-free, yet very rich in antioxidants, including the flavonoid quercetin, which is known to aid heart health.
Research has also proven that onions promote bone health, improve skin conditions and reduce blood sugar. When it comes to tearing up while slicing onions, “lachrymatory” factor is what is responsible. Sulfuric properties are released in a fine mist, as the knife slices through. This mist reacts with the moisture in our eyes and we can’t help, but cry about it! According to the Britannica Encyclopedia, onions are particularly good at absorbing sulfur, which they use in a number of amino acids. Meanwhile, not all onions generate the harshest chemical reaction, which means, they have lesser sulfur-containing compounds. The onions that often make people cry are yellow, red, and white onions.
In general, individuals cry less while eating sweeter varieties like green onions since they are less sulfurous, less pungent, and have less sulfur. Below are some home remedies that can help you reduce the tears while slicing:
1. soaking the peeled onions in water minutes before slicing after peeling.
2. chewing gum while slicing.
3. lighting a candle next to the onion.
4. chopping the onion under a stream of cold water.
5. putting the onion in the freezer for a few minutes before slicing. According to the farmers’ almanac, doing this slows down the conversion of the acids into irritating gases.
6. While you chop the onion, skewer a tiny slice of bread onto the carving knife and push it all the way up to the handle. The bread will absorb the onion’s odours.
7. Hold a slice of bread lightly between your teeth while chopping onions. Ridiculous right, but it works! According to an healthline website, the bread will absorb some of the gases as they waft toward your eyes.
8. Slice systematically, but not close to the roots.
9. Finally, slice as you like and as you want and just let the tears flow. It might be just what you really need to tear up a bit (winks).