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Varieties of Onions and How to Use Them

There are various varieties of onions that may add taste and fantastic aromas to any dish. The primary differing types of onions are the widespread yellow onion, purple onions, and white onions. Nevertheless, other forms of onions corresponding to scallions, leeks, and shallots are extensively used within the kitchen. Despite the fact that onions are a pungent sort of vegetable generally utilized in cooking, there are additionally many sweet varieties which you can take pleasure in consuming uncooked.

Many recipes call for onions in some shape or type. Differing types of sharper-tasting yellow onions could be flippantly sautéed to convey out their pure sweetness to add deep flavor to a dish. Delicate sweeter onions are great raw in salads or salsas to give a recent flavorful texture. Small tiny onions similar to pearl onions are great for pickling and have a sweeter taste.

In this article, you will discover out concerning the many differing kinds of onions and how to use them. You will also study what makes one variety of onion totally different from another.

Varieties of Onions

Onions are a kind of bulbous vegetable from the Allium genus, and the overall botanical identify for them is Allium cepa. Onions are related to other bulb greens within the Allium genus comparable to garlic, leeks, chives, and Chinese onions.

Onions include a number of sulfur compounds that give them their pungent odor. Also, freshly reduce onions are well-known for causing eye irritation resulting in tears.

Truly, consuming onions is extremely good for you. Medical analysis has additionally recognized a quantity of medicinal compounds in onions. Some of these have been linked to addressing a quantity of well being issues corresponding to asthma, hair loss, and even most cancers prevention.

Every kind of onions produce hole tubular varieties of green leaves which you could also eat uncooked. For instance, many recipes embrace the green leaves of spring onions (scallions) as well as the onion bulb.

In truth, all varieties of onions are so versatile which you can boil, bake, grill, fry, braise, and pickle them.

So, now that we all know a bit of extra about onions typically, let’s take a look at some specific varieties of onions that you need to use in the kitchen.

Yellow Onions

Yellow onion is one of the most typical varieties of onions on the planet

Yellow onions (Allium cepa) have a robust wealthy flavor, papery brown-yellow pores and skin, and are one of the most typical varieties of onions on the planet.

Slicing via the pale-yellow skin of the onion reveals a light-yellow or white flesh. Due to this sort of onion being a dry selection, there’s not much juice in yellow onions.

The rationale that yellow onions have such a strong taste is due to their high levels of sulfur. In addition to containing sulfur compounds, yellow onions and most different varieties of onions are wealthy in antioxidants.

This yellow onion selection is sweet for frying and sautéing as a result of its sweetness intensifies as it caramelizes. Often, if a recipe requires adding chopped or sliced onions to the dish with out specifying the variability, you must use yellow onions. Yellow onions are also the primary ingredient in French onion soup.

Yellow onions retailer nicely all year long if stored in darkish places at room temperature.

Spanish Onions

Spanish onion

Spanish onion is a kind of yellow onion which has a large culinary use

Spanish onions are a kind of giant yellow onion with a light style and are additionally commonly used for frying, including to stews, or soups.

One of the explanation why Spanish onions are fashionable is that they’re usually milder than widespread yellow onions. Additionally they could also be slightly sweeter and, for some individuals, are more palatable when consumed raw.

The massive varieties of Spanish onions mean that they’re an awesome selection in case you are frying onion rings or want to prime a hamburger. Comparable to different varieties of yellow onions, the Spanish varieties have extensive culinary use.

Purple Onions

red onion

Purple onion has a milder taste than some other sorts of onions

Pink onions are a kind of medium to large-sized onion with deep purple-red pores and skin and white and purple onion rings.

Utilizing pink onions raw in salads or in calmly cooked meals is widespread as a result of they’ve a milder flavor than another sorts of onions. For example, raw yellow onions have a tendency to be sharper in taste than the pink/purple onion varieties. Nevertheless, identical to Spanish onions, purple onions roast nicely and grow to be much sweeter.

The pink pigments in this variety of onion are actually from healthy antioxidants. Compared to white onions and yellow onions, pink onions have the very best number of these health-boosting compounds. Additionally they have extra quercetin (an antioxidant) than garlic and white onions. (1, 2)

Torpedo purple onions

torpedo onion

Torpedo onion is a spread of purple onion

Torpedo onions have elongated pink and white bulbs and are classed as a small to medium-sized sort of onion. The bulb is covered with a papery pink and white skin that covers juicy, mild-tasting flesh. Purple Torpedo onions are a well-liked Italian selection of purple onion.

These onions are delicious both raw and roasted as their delicate candy taste isn’t too overpowering. This onion selection goes nicely on pizzas, in pasta sauces, in stews, or as onion chutney.

White Onions

white onion

White onions are a big sort of onion with delicate style

White onions are a big sort of onion that have white papery pores and skin and white delicate flesh.

Though white onions have a excessive sugar content identical to pink onions have, they still retain a pungent flavor. These are a superb sort of onion to use should you want a sharp-flavored onion that’s still delicate and sweet.

White onions are commonly used in Mexican and Latin American dishes. As a result of of their comparatively delicate flavor, white onions are an excellent sort of onion to use if the recipe calls for raw onions. You can too slice the onions and pickle them slightly in vinegar earlier than rinsing to give them a milder style.

Candy Onions

sweet onion

Sweet onions are varieties of onion cultivars which have a sweeter taste

Numerous varieties of candy onions are very fashionable due to their delicate style and lack of pungent onion flavor.

Sweet onions aren’t a selected selection of onion, however varieties of onion cultivars which were developed to have a sweeter fairly than sharp flavor. In contrast to yellow onions or white onions, sweet varieties of onions tend to be juicier and have a decrease sulfur content.

Let’s look in more detail at some of the tastiest sorts of candy onions.

Walla Walla onions

Walla Walla onions have been developed in Washington State and are a delicious sort of candy onion with a light taste. The onion shape is typical of many yellow onion varieties. Nevertheless, this sort of onion is far sweeter than yellow onions. In addition to yellow Walla Walla onions, you can too buy sweet white onion varieties.

For many individuals, this is the selection of candy onion to eat uncooked in sandwiches, on hamburgers, or finely chopped in dips.

Vidalia onions

Vidalia onions

Vidalia onions are one of the sweetest varieties of onion and are very versatile

Another basic sweet onion is the Vidalia onion which has a flattened globular shape and light-yellow, virtually white pores and skin. Vidalia onions have a agency white juicy flesh with skinny rings.

When it comes to choosing a mildly tasting candy onion, Vidalia onions often hit the top of the record. Their excessive sugar content and low sulfur content material mean that they are one of the sweetest varieties of onion you should purchase.

These versatile onions will not be only great for eating uncooked. You possibly can improve their sweetness by frivolously frying them, roasting them, or grilling them. Additionally they make a delicious ingredient for any recipe that requires onions.

Mayan candy onions

Mayan sweet onion

Mayan sweet onion have flattened globular shape

Comparable to Vidalia onions, Mayan onions are a kind of super-sweet onion which are scrumptious whenever you eat them raw. Mayan candy onions come from Peru and don’t give off the pungent aromas as yellow or white onions do. They have mild brown skins and a spherical or flattened globe-like formed bulb.

Bermuda onions

Bermuda onions are a kind of very sweet onion that have a rounded flat shape and intensely sweet taste. Stories claim that the Bermuda onion is the original candy onion from which all US candy onion cultivars originate.

Texas Supersweet onions

As its identify suggests, Texas Supersweet onions are a candy selection of onions. In comparison to different candy onions, this Texan onion is jumbo sized and coated by mild yellowish pores and skin. The white juicy flesh is nice and mildly tangy and is an effective selection of onion to eat raw.



Shallots are a kind of small onions with milder taste

Shallots are a kind of small onion that has papery yellow, pink, or gold skin and have a candy crisp style when eaten uncooked or cooked.

Shallot onions grow comparable to garlic in that they’re clusters of cloves. Depending on the dimensions of the shallot onion, anyplace between 2 and 6 cloves grow beneath the skin. This sort of oblong onion is widespread in cooking because it has a milder onion style with hints of garlic.

Shallot onions have whitish translucent flesh that has tinges of purple operating by way of it. Chances are you’ll find that many recipes specify using chopped or sliced shallots within the recipe. It’s because they don’t seem to be as pungent as strong-flavored yellow onions and have a milder but richer taste.

There could be some confusion concerning the actual sort of onion that shallots refer to. In some nations in the Southern Hemisphere shallots can refer to scallions (spring onions). Nevertheless, Within the Northern Hemisphere, it is referred to the sort of onion that grows in clusters garlic-like of cloves.

Cipollini Onions

Cipollini Onion

Cipollini Onion is an Italian sort of small round flat onion

One sort of small spherical flat onion that could be very in style is the Cipollini onion. This beige-skinned onion selection has a pungent aroma and mildly candy style. Nevertheless, they actually sweeten up when roasted or fried.

Cipollini is an Italian selection of onion that is turning into fashionable outdoors of Italy. The small onion measurement signifies that it’s a sensible choice to roast entire or prepare caramelized onions. It’s also possible to use this sort of onion for creaming due to its lack of bitterness when cooked.

Pearl Onions

pearl onions

Pearl onions is one of the smallest sort of onions and are great for pickling

One of the smallest varieties of onion is the pearl onion that has a crunchy texture and delightfully candy taste. Pearl onions are typically referred to as button onions, child onions, or creamers.

Pearl onions are from the same Allium genus as onions but are a cultivar of Allium ampeloprasum which suggests they are more intently related to leeks.

Pearl onions often solely measure between ¾” and 1” vast (2 – 3 cm) and have agency white flesh. In contrast to widespread onions, pearl onions don’t have such a pungent flavor or sharp taste. The small onion bulbs are surrounded by a thin white pores and skin.

Although white pearl onions are the preferred sort of small white onion, you may as well purchase pink pearl onions which have a good milder taste.

Pearl (button) onions are often the right onion for pickling. Their tiny measurement means you could pickle these onions entire with out chopping them up. Another approach of using button onions in cooking it putting them entire in stews or sautéing them together with different vegetables.

As a result of of their measurement, pearl onions are often the perfect sort of cocktail onion to use.

Cocktail Onions

cocktail onions

Pickled onions are made utilizing small candy onions

Cocktail onions can refer to any sort of small sweet onion that’s pickled. Cocktail onions are often ready by including spices similar to paprika or turmeric to the pickling liquid.

One of the most typical varieties of candy onions to use for a cocktail onion is the pearl onion. The candy crunchy texture and lack of pungent aromas mean that it gained’t spoil the taste of cocktails.

Some other varieties of onions which are good cocktail onions are the White Bermuda, Crystal Wax, or small pink candy onions. To ensure these onions are stored small enough for a cocktail glass, they are grown tightly packed collectively to forestall them from growing too giant.

Scallions (Spring Onions)


Scallions (additionally referred to as spring onions or green onions)

Scallions are another sort of onion from the Allium species which have a light style without pungency. Scallions are additionally referred to as spring onions or green onions.

The primary use of scallions in culinary dishes is for his or her long green hollow leaves. Chopped scallion leaves are commonly utilized in salads, salsas, and stir-fries. They provide dishes a light sharpness with out having overpowering onion aromas.

Scallion bulbs are also an essential part of many recipes. They are chopped or sliced and fried in an analogous why to shallots or different varieties of delicate onion. Comparable to different delicate onion varieties comparable to purple onions, spring onion bulbs could be chopped and eaten raw.

One North American sort of “spring onion” is ramps, typically referred to as Tennessee truffles (Allium tricoccum). This sort of leafy onion has purple edible stems and lengthy green leaves. When consumed raw, ramps have a taste comparable to garlic but when cooked they’re sweeter like cooked scallions.

ramp onion

Ramp is a species of wild onion widespread throughout elements of Canada and america



Leek is a kind of onion that has a bundle of leaf sheaths tightly sure collectively

Leeks are an Allium vegetable which are intently associated to onions but is considerably sweeter and less pungent. These tall greens from the onion family can develop to 10” (25 cm) tall and measure 2” (5 cm) in diameter.

Leeks (Allium ampeloprasum) don’t produce bulbs like onions or cloves like shallots or garlic. Leeks are an edible root that consist of leaf sheaths tightly bundled collectively. The half of leeks that develop under the bottom is a translucent white shade. This regularly turns to dark green additional up the sheath.

You need to use leeks raw or cooked, relying on how you favor this onion-tasting vegetable. You possibly can chop green leek sheaths uncooked and add them to recent salads. Or, chopped leeks are a standard ingredient in lots of soups and stews. Cooking leeks helps to soften the agency texture and makes the taste a lot milder. You may also sauté leeks and add them to pies or savory tarts

Welsh Onion

Welsh onion

Welsh onion is analogous to spring onion

The Welsh Onion (Allium fistulosum) is a kind of bunching onion that grows comparable to spring onions.

Regardless of its identify, the Welsh onion has nothing to do with the country of the same identify. This onion has a small white bulb that spouts tubular hole leaves comparable to scallions. Some larger varieties of Welsh onions can appear to be leeks due to their measurement.

The green leaves of the Welsh onion are generally used in salads, soups, or as a garnish for Japanese or Korean dishes.

Chinese onion

Chinese onion

Chinese language onion is also called Chinese Scallion, Japanese scallion, rakkyo and oriental onion

Chinese language onion (Allium Chinense) is native to Asia and is grown in many different nations.

It has white bulb, green stalks and small purple flowers that bloom in spring. Both bulb and stalks are edible and may be eaten cooked or uncooked.

Chinese language onion is also called Chinese Scallion, Japanese scallion, rakkyo and oriental onion, and has a light taste. It is typically pickled and served alongside different dishes.

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