Grocery Hacks

Onion Types: What’s The Difference And When To Use Each?

Photo: So Delicious

There are plenty of onion types out there, from spring onions, always my favorites, to white, to yellow and red. But when to use each and what do they bring to your table? Let’s find out.

I’ve always been crazy about onions, ever since I can remember. That raw taste, the pinch I can feel in my nostrils and sometimes my eyes (depending on how hot they are) and the feeling that my airwaves are now more open than they’ve ever been. I was chopping spring onions yesterday for a salad and once I got that feeling, I felt even more excited for the end result.

You already know there are many onion types out there, and you can’t use them all for the same dishes. But you can try, I’ve sautéed some spring onions as a base for a frittata once. It’s not exactly advised, but it works, when you’re in a pinch. They each have their purpose and mission in life. And in the end, they will probably all make you extremely happy.

Onion Types: What's the Difference and When to Use Each?
Telling different onion types apart can be quite the challenge when you’re at the market.

10 onion types to incorporate in your cooking

1. Yellow onions

Out of all onion types you might find, you can consider this one as the all-purpose onion. You can do anything with it. Sauté it to give more flavor to your marinara sauce or as a base for stews and so many other foods. Chopped onion softened in some oil practically works with so many hot foods, I don’t even know where to start. But beyond that, caramelized onion is quite the delicacy, and some chopped onion in any salad brings a brilliant crunch and so much extra flavor!

But why do they work so well? Because they have just the right balance of astringency and sweetness, so they adapt really well to pretty much any dish. They’re usually the size of a fist and their outer skin is pretty tough. They will make you cry almost every time.

Onion Types: What's the Difference and When to Use Each?
Yellow onions are the all-purpose type. you can use them raw or cook them any way you want.

2. White onions

They have a more tender flesh and a thinner skin than the yellow onions. Plus, they have a white exterior, so you can know in advance what you’re getting. What is that, you (maybe) ask? Something with a sharper flavor, that borderlines on the pungent. So you can pair them with something that has a flavor not overshadowed by this. And they work great for strong-flavored dishes like salsa and chutneys. But you can use them in salads and other dishes as well. Just experiment with them first.

Onion Types: What's the Difference and When to Use Each?
White onions work great for strong-flavored dishes like salsa and chutneys.

3. Red onions

These are my favorite type of onions to eat raw. I love to see their deep purple exterior and all of the white and red layers within. So they’re first a feat for my eyes, hungry for color. Their flavor is not that different from yellow onions, but they tend to be less meaty and tender. They start out fresh in the summer and early fall, but their flavor intensifies in storage during the long winter.

How to use them? They’re absolutely great in salads, thanks to their color and crunch. Some of them can be a bit astringent, but most have a mild flavor. If you’re aiming for the mild taste spot, then soak them in water before you eat them. You can also pickle them or add them as topping on pizza. If the latter floats your boat, then pair them with some bacon and blue cheese. You’re going to love the combo!

Onion Types: What's the Difference and When to Use Each?
You can pickle red onions or add them as topping on pizza. They’re delicious!

4. Sweet onions

These are the least sharp-flavored of the bunch, but they have an unparalleled sweetness to them. You can have them raw, thinly sliced, and add them to salads or to wraps. I love adding them to wraps. There are two types out there that you can get: Walla Walla and Vidalia. You can find them between late April and September in the market. These also taste great when caramelized. Store them in the refrigerator, because they tend to be more perishable than other types.

5. Spring onions

Spring onions are actually very young onions, of all the above types – red, white, and yellow. They’re just pulled early from the ground and their leaves are kept on. That’s great because all of the parts of spring onions are edible. They have a mild flavor and just a little bit of spiciness to them.

You can use them in salads, of course. You can finely chop them and use them as the garnish for hot dishes – just sprinkle some of that on your food for extra freshness. But did you know that you can actually grill them and they will turn out crispy and tender? Please try, since it’s grilling season and everything!

Onion Types: What's the Difference and When to Use Each?
Spring onions are actually very young onions, pulled early from the ground.

6. Shallots

Shallots are a staple of French cuisine and they’re an essential part of different classic sauces like mignonette. They have a between pink and orange skin color and a taste that’s milder than red onions’, but stronger than the one of yellow onions. Ther’s also a smaller and more purple Asian variety of shallot that is used in local cuisines – the shallot is fried or ground into a paste.

Use them as topping for noodles, roast them at the same time with a chicken, or slice them thinly and use them to give a bit of crunch to sauces or vinaigrettes.

Onion Types: What's the Difference and When to Use Each?
Use shallots as topping for noodles, roast them at the same time with a chicken, or slice them thinly.

7. Scallions

Scallions are long and thin and usually as thick as your fingers. They’re not really spicy, but they have a sweet and mild flavor. You can buy them in bunches and use them raw in dishes, but also cooked. Their topside never really becomes a bulb, and that’s how you can tell them apart from spring onions. You can use their dark green leaves just as you would use the ends of spring onions or instead of chives. Find them fresh at the end of spring until the end of summer.

They’re very juicy and also crunchy, which means that you can use them in a lot of dishes. Add them to salads and sandwiches, and use them to top off some nice cream soups. Or even a chicken soup, why not?

Onion Types: What's the Difference and When to Use Each?
The ends of scallions are not bulbous, like the ones of spring onions.

8. Leeks

They’re one of the great onion types to start off your spring with. Leeks are larger than scallions and spring onions. Their dark green tops aren’t really that pleasant to work with, not like the ones that belong to spring onions and scallions. But you can use them to flavor other dishes. They don’t really work in salads.

Leek heads are quite sweet and have a mild flavor, but they’re pretty fibrous, so having them raw is out of the question. Wash them carefully before cooking. Once you apply heat, they become pretty soft and tender. Cook them in stock and add some lemon and olive oil. You can also make leek soup to enjoy them thoroughly. Use them to make the French soup vichyssoise, a potato and leek soup that’s to die for! Add them to pasta or as filling for a quiche. Or try any one of these recipes!

Onion Types: What's the Difference and When to Use Each?
You can make leek soup to enjoy them thoroughly.

9. Pearl onions

They’re very small and white and they look like pearls. As the name betrays them. Their dominant taste is sweet and they’re really tough to peel. You can buy them frozen and pre-peeled, which will make your kitchen job easier. Roast them or buy them already pickled, in jars, at the store.

10. Cippolini onions

They are less spherical and more disc-shaped than other onion types. They’re al slightly larger than pearl onions, very sweet, and have yellow skin. They’re also pretty tough to peel, so be prepared for that. You can caramelize them, roast them, or pair them with mushrooms.

Related Links:

Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.


10 Everyday Food Tips That You Can’t Help But Appreciate

I always get excited when I discover a new life hack. I figure if I collect enough of these tips, I’ll eventually be on my way to becoming a fully-functioning adult. Though that journey may take some time.

The popular subreddit LifeProTips is a plethora of tips and tricks shared by the collective experiences of the Internet. You can find tips that cover relationships, finance, technology, and most importantly — food.

Because we’re always seeking ways to make our dining experience much simpler, we created a list of some of the best food pro tips we came across. Enjoy!

LPT: Let someone know you’re picking up the tab for a meal AFTER they’ve ordered. This allows a considerate friend to order what s/he wants freely and also prevents a colleague/acquaintance from taking advantage of your generosity. from r/LifeProTips

I’ve been on both the treating end and receiving end of a free meal. Keeping mum about buying dinner for someone to dinner is something your wallet will appreciate.

LPT: If a server or cashier at a restaurant gives you extra of something for no charge, and you are later asked by a manager if that employee was doing their job well, don’t mention that they gave you extra food. It could potentially get them in trouble. from r/LifeProTips

Sometimes, all a kind gesture really needs is a simple thank you.

LPT: If you want to “vacuum seal” food, put it in a ziplock bag and submerge it in a bowl of water with the bag open above the water. The water will push the air out of the bag, and you can close it without any left inside. from r/LifeProTips

Personally, I’ve always been a fan of the “seal it almost all the way and squeeze out the rest of the air” method.

LPT: when making nachos, put a tortilla underneath your chips to turn leftover toppings into a taco. from r/LifeProTips

I’ll admit, sometimes I’ll lick the plate clean when eating nachos. Having a tortilla underneath to catch the toppings would probably make me look more composed.

LPT: Store potatoes and onions well apart from each other. They release moisture and gases that can make the other get bad faster. from r/LifeProTips

So that’s why my onions keep going bad.


LPT: Use olive oil instead of extra-virgin olive oil when cooking with heat. It has a higher smoke point and is cheaper. Use your nice oil for finishing dishes, not preparing them. from r/LifeProTips

Very guilty of this sin, especially when I’m too lazy to run to the grocery store for frying oil.

LPT: Most juices/drinks that advertise 50% less sugar are simply watered down. You can save money by watering down the normal product. from r/LifeProTips

Doctor says I should be drinking more water anyways.

LPT: When baking cookies, take them out when just the sides look almost done, not the middle. They’ll finish baking on the pan and you’ll have soft, delicious cookies. from r/LifeProTips

Chocolate chip cookies with a crispy exterior and gooey insides are one of life’s greatest pleasures.


LPT: Put a peeled banana in the freezer for a snack that almost has the same texture and taste of ice cream but without the guilt or calories. from r/LifeProTips

That does solve my lactose intolerance issue too…

LPT: Learn to look at food products labeling carefully. “Made with 100%…” is very different to “made from 100%…” from r/LifeProTips

Always read the fine print when it comes to food.

Science What's New

Farmers Create Tearless Onions, Could Change The Way We Cook Forever

From biting wooden spoons, to shielding their eyes with goggles, people have always looked for ways to cut an onion and avoid the tears from streaming down their cheeks.

Meet the Sunion, the onion that claims to be the first to keep you from shedding a single tear.

When you hear of something as bizarre as a tearless onion, your first thought is probably, “GMO, GMO, GMO,” but Sunions claim they are not genetically modified, but rather a natural cross-bred method that was three decades in the making.

“This onion is the product of more than 30 years of research and development to grow an onion that actually decreased in pungency during storage,” Sunions breeder Rick Watson said in a press release.

The reason onions make us cry, is because the smell is a bit of a defense system. In dramatic terms, they make us cry, to try and keep us from eating them.

With help from farmers at L&L AG Production, Hartley Produce, and Perry & Sons Farms, Sunion says they found a way to decrease those tear-inducing compounds, so you can chop straight through them without fear of an onion’s pungent aroma hitting your nostrils.

The Sunions are currently grown in Idaho, Nevada, and Washington, and are already available in select grocery stores, although they have not released an official grocer list yet.

These sound too good to be true, but if they actually work, they might just change the whole cooking game, one less tear at a time.


Without Sight Or Smell, Apples And Onions Taste The Same

It is frequently quoted that upwards of 80% of our taste is made up by smell.

So if you plug your nose and cover your eyes, the taste between an apple and onion should be indistinguishable, right?

The logic makes sense. When I’m home sick, congested and mucus-ridden, eating is often a mundane, muted task. All potato chip flavors taste the same. Chicken noodle soup reminds me of tea with chunks in it. When things are really misty in my nasal cavities, well, you can literally substitute apples and onions and I won’t be able to tell the difference.

In order to test the myth thoroughly, I blindfolded a few of my friends and had them plug their noses while I fed them apples and onions. To everyone’s surprise, the flavors were indistinguishable. When bit into without the onion’s outermost skin, apples and onions share an extremely similar crunch.


If you’re looking to indulge in this experiment at home, after you’ve gone through your trials, I highly recommend throwing in a slice of apple and onion into your mouth at the same time. We had an eerily interesting radish-like experience that I’m curious if anyone else shares as well. The flavors of the apple neutralize the onions pungency.

So there you have it, if you plug your nose, close your eyes and bite into an onion…it is indistinguishable from an apple…until your nostrils open again.

Culture Hit-Or-Miss Video

Watch This Guy Make The World’s Tiniest Omelette

The dude from Miniature Space probably has the steadiest hands of any YouTube personality we’ve ever seen. You kind of have to, if your channel is entirely devoted to cooking tiny food that’s still delicious enough to make our mouths water.

In his latest episode, he tackles the world’s tiniest omelette.

He starts by dicing up some onions and carrots, then sautés them in a tiny frying pan. He adds meat to the frying pan until everything is caramelized and golden brown. The meat and veggies are then removed from the heat and set aside.

The chef then gets to the good stuff, cracking a tiny quail egg and beating it together thoroughly. The frying pan is cleaned and the egg is added to cook. Once the bottom layer is cooked just enough, he adds the meat and veggies to the egg base. Another couple drops of egg is added to the omelette to thicken it up.

Once the omelette is ready, he garnishes it and serves it with some dipping sauce.

Check out the video to see his exact method. It’s a combination of whimsical and informative, in case you need to make an omelet for fairies or something.

Features Products

10 Useful Amazon Kitchen Products That Cost $5 Or Less

We’re plenty guilty of surfing through Amazon and buying a ton of unnecessary things from the online retailer. Quite a few of them, actually, are things to litter our kitchens with. So when an inexpensive kitchen gadget that makes our cooking experience much easier comes along, we kind of throw caution to the wind and go for it.

Fully realizing that all too common scenario, here are ten kitchen toys we found on Amazon that are less than $5. Our apologies ahead of time for any discomfort you might feel in your wallets.


Onion Holder Slicer


To the uninitiated, chopping an onion can be one of the most difficult tasks in the kitchen. Still, we hold back tears and risk bloody fingers just to dice that little bastard, because almost everything tastes better with onions.

Having an onion holder on deck assures that our fingers won’t accidentally slip and get sliced while we get to work. The tears, however, will probably be there.

Price: $3.25

Avocado Peeler & Cutter


Sure, you could learn how to properly peel and cut an avocado with a regular knife, or even a paring knife, but then you couldn’t play around with this nifty green gadget.

The avocado peeler and cutter will do exactly what the name mentions in a few extra steps less than if you are to use a knife. Anything to get that guac started.

Price: $2.60

Finger Protector


Anyone who has ever sliced their finger while prepping vegetables will know the value of practice… or a finger protector.

This gadget will protect your digits as if they were a mother bear protecting her cubs.


Hot Dog Cutters


Your bored, uninspired hot dogs have left you wanting more when it comes to barbecuing. Luckily, this hot dog spiraling device will ensure that your wieners get the pizzazz they’ve been desperately needing.

Price: $4.20

Mayo Knife


One of our biggest problems when making a cold sandwich is getting bits of mayonnaise at the base of our knife and then getting said mayonnaise on our fingers shortly after. The Mayo Knife is a plastic device designed specifically to avoid that problem as well as to give your sandwich a nice even spread.

Price: $4.29.

Fruit Core Splitter


It’s said that an apple doesn’t actually have a core. For those who still want to avoid eating the center of a Red Delicious anyways, this fruit core splitter is just the thing to pop the inside our your apples straight out. There will be no unnecessary debate or worry about consuming those apple seeds.

Price: $3.22

Bear Claw Meat Shredder


Freshly smoked pulled pork is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Unfortunately, shredding it can leave your fingers burnt and calloused if done improperly. Unless you’re the Wolverine, you may want to invest in these dope bear claw meat shredders.

Price: $3.92

Garlic Peeler


Like onions, garlic is one of the most essential delicious ingredients at your disposal. The only problem is, working with garlic often leaves your finger smelling for hours. Unless you’re willing to take the necessary precautions to manually get that odor off, you can invest in this garlic peeler.

With a couple quick rolling motions, your garlic is peeled and your fingers smell as good as they did before you partook in this endeavor.

Price: 4.95

Egg Yolk Seperator


A huge part of baking is making sure you have egg yolks and whites. This means you have to know how to properly separate the components of the egg. If you tend to have trouble getting the whites outta there before your yolks crack, this separator will simply suck the yolks out in one quick motion.

This should make baking a lot simpler as you’re not having to mess around with shells.

Price: $2.27

Shark Fin Ice Tray


Cooking, while relaxing, can also be an exhausting experience. You’re gonna want to stay hydrated while in the kitchen. This shark fin ice cube tray will not only cool your drink, but create the whimsical illusion that there are some icy sharks cruising through your beverage.

Price: $4.96

Note: Prices may fluctuate a dollar or two from the time this article launched.


8 Ridiculously Easy Kitchen Tricks You Need To Know About

There will never be enough kitchen hacks. Whether it’s a simpler way to cut your onions, or a stress-free method to peeling potatoes. We welcome any time and grief-saving innovations when it comes to food.

Household Hacker came up with 8 hacks that’ll help you breeze through eating food at home. Tips include a way to hold chopsticks easier, using bananas to help itchy skin, how to MacGyver a cup and several other useful hacks.

Check out the video and cruise through cooking.

Celebrity Grub

These Are Gordon Ramsay’s 5 Essential Basics To Cooking

You may know Gordon Ramsay from one of his million shows. The world-famous chef is probably known for making the most complicated dishes look simple. Ramsay just released a video on his YouTube channel showing five essential cooking skills everyone needs to learn.

The nearly 8-minute video features him showing us how to prepare foods like chopping onions, cooking rice, skinning and deboning a fish and cooking pasta. Ramsay also demonstrates the proper technique to sharpening a knife.

To kitchen newbies like us, this is a pretty solid crash course.


How to chop an onion

Leave the root on the onion so that it doesn’t bleed and you start crying. Using three fingers, guide the knife with the knuckle of your middle finger. Cut towards the root, trying to get as close as you can with long strokes.

Push the onion back together and start cutting horizontally, using the weight of the blade to get to the root.

How to cook the perfect rice

Using Basmati rice, start with 400 grams of rice. Rinse off the dust and the starch of the rice in cold water. Put the rice into the pan and add three cardamom pods and two whole star anise.

Now, season the rice with hot water and add 600 mils of cold water (one part rice, one and a half part water). Throw a lid on the pot and bring it to a boil on high heat. As soon as it boils, turn it down to a simmer and let it steam for 8-10 minutes.

Just don’t remove the lid while you wait.

How to skin and debone fish

Taking your filleting knife, start cutting into the end of the fish until you separate the meat from the skin about halfway. Once you’re halfway through, you can wrap the skin you removed around your hand and pull the fish towards you as you continue cutting.

Take some tweezers, start picking out the bones.

How to sharpen a knife

Grip the steel of a knife sharpener like a tennis racket at 45 degrees. Take your knife and start moving it in long strokes along the steel from bottom to top.

Make sure to keep your fingers behind the handle of the steel. That can’t be stressed enough.

How to cook the perfect pasta

Throw some water into the pan and season the water with salt and olive oil. Bring the water up to a rolling boil and throw you pasta in. Gently twist the pasta with some tongs so that it’s submerged in the water.

When the pasta hits the texture you’re happy with, throw it into a colander and drain it. Add a light seasoning of salt, pepper and olive oil.

Mix the pasta together.