You found a recipe you want to try or have a recipe you love to make but you need cut an onion or two…and you cringe knowing the tears will be flowing and your eyes will be irritated. In this blog post, we explain the why and give you some tear-free tips.
Why do onions make you cry? Onions contain naturally occurring amino acids called sulfoxides, and when you cut into them, their cell walls become damaged & 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.
How can you prevent the tears?
- Freeze the onion: This will lessen the compounds and tear-inducing chemicals.
- Wear goggles: Would you believe that onion goggles actually exist. Yes! You can pick a pair up in home stores and specialty cooking shops.
- Choose fresh and sweet onions: Vidalia onions and other sweet varieties incite less tearing and crying.
- Keep a piece of bread in your mouth: The spongy texture of the bread (held it between the front teeth with lips slightly open) absorbed some of those noxious gases before they have the chance to float up to your nose and eyes.
- Cut the onion under a vent: Putting your cutting board on the stove and turning on the overhead vent or microwave ventilation fan is redirects the eye-irritating gases onions produce away from your eyes.
Another option is to buy frozen chopped onions or to buy pre-chopped onions at your grocery store!