Saturday, 26 November 2011

Onions and Crying

Onions. They're in just about every savoury recipe I have and so you'd think I'd be used to them, but as soon as I've pierced through that rusty, papery skin my eyes start to water and I end up rocking an Alice Cooper/melted mascara look.




I've tried everything. Cutting them in water, holding my breath, squinting (not advisable with a sharp knife in your hand) and standing as far away as I can from the chopping board while I cut. I've even tried Jamie Oliver's way of trying to keep the root intact  until the last minute and positioning the cut halves white-side down on the board, which they reckon reduces tear-jerking. Except it doesn't, at least with me. I've even started chopping them in a processor, but as soon as I lift the lid and the kitchen's full of that pungent smell, I'm off again.

 
Which is why I am reaching out to you lovely readers... how on earth do you cut onions without crying? Let me know on the Facebook page, Twitter or in the comments below!

4 comments:

  1. You can actually buy goggles to chop onions especially!! or use a pair of swimming goggles. Otherwise soak the onion in water for a few minutes. I think this works by taking the inital smell out of the onions.. x

    ReplyDelete
  2. You can actually buy goggles to chop onions especially!! or use a pair of swimming goggles. Otherwise soak the onion in water for a few minutes. I think this works by taking the inital smell out of the onions.. x

    ReplyDelete
  3. The onion produces tears because when you cut it, you break cells which separated enzymes and sulfenic acids. These substances mix to form a volatile sulphur compound that sprays upward toward your eyes as a gas.

    This gas reacts with the water in your tears to form sulphuric acid, stimulating your eyes to release more tears to wash the irritant away.

    The smartest way to stop this occurring is to stop the enzyme from being able to function. This can be achieved by chilling the onion before you cut it as the low temperature will render the enzyme inactive.

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  4. I must be lucky as I don't cry when peeling onions. I've heard a few things that you may try. Don't know if they are efficient tho ;)
    Apparently you should keep a match or a piece of bread very close to the onion or your eyes. I guess it will absorb the gas or something. You can also eat a chewing gum while peeling the onion.
    Not sure if these tips are good but you can give them a go ;)

    ReplyDelete