Monday, December 17, 2007

Plant it! Harvest It! Then What?

If you plant them you have to know what to do with them and only one of the things you might want to do with them is cook. (If you want the answer to more types and their uses go to the Cooks Thesaurus at or

The Cook's Thesaurus is a cooking encyclopedia that covers thousands of ingredients and kitchen tools. Entries include pictures, descriptions, synonyms, pronunciations, and suggested substitutions.

What a fascinating place to visit. You can learn so many trivium, but also some pretty neat stuff. For instance here is just a tiny bit of what you’ll find on the lowly onion.

So which are best for cooking? The most common opinion is the yellow onion. Before we explore how to cook it. Let's look at a little trivia.

Why do onions make us cry?

You've probably noticed that when you cut up a raw onion, your eyes start to tear. A common problem for every onion chopper, this happens because of the enzymes in an onion. Since the onion is being chopped, the cells are being broken - allowing the enzymes to be released. The enzymes in an onion are called allianases (I find this funny nearly alien even) and they react to the sulfides in the onion-chopping environment to create a sulfuric acid gas. This gas is immediately composed and released into the air, therefore reaching your eyes. Our eyes' nerve endings are irritated by sulfuric acid, therefore inducing uncontrollable "crying."

When I think of the smell of sulfur – such as that emitted from striking a match, or from whatever the paper mill did when it unloaded a sulfur rail car a block from our home – the air became unbreathable—and the lowly onion creates sulfuric acid — would that be considered the same but in a less potent dosage?

Cooks Thesaurus recommends chilling onions first to avoid tearing. "If you're prone to crying while cutting onions, try chilling them first, then peeling them under running water.

How to cook them? — Always cook onions over low or medium heat, since they become bitter at high temperatures."

The yellow onion is a favorite for cooking because it is higher in sulfides; unfortunately, this is also what makes you cry when you cut into it. Yellow onions turn a rich brown and become sweeter and milder when cooked. Many people find them too pungent to eat raw.

5 medium onions = 1 lb=2 cups chopped=3 cups sliced

1 small onion = 1/2 cup = 1 tsp onion powder = 1 Tbs dried onion flakes

Substitutes: Spanish onion OR white onion

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