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The Walled Garden, Watergate
West Marden, Chichester
We all love onion, whether it's in a cheese sandwhich or caramelised in a scrumptious hot dog. One thing we dont love about them though is that horrible, eye-watering sensation of preparing them. You'll end up getting so frustrated with trying to prepare your onion, you'll end up crying. Literally!
The reason chopping, dicing and slicing an onion can bring tears to your eyes is the gas inside them - Sulfur. Sulfur is contained in within the onion and is what gives it it's flavour. It's also the reason we cry when we're cutting into them. This gas is realsed into the air, and when it makes contact with our eyes, that's when we know about it.
So, how do you prevent yourself from crying the next time you fancy an onion in your sandwhich?
One method, although not my personal favourite, is to cut the onion under water or in running water ie under a tap. This is bit of a tricky approach though and can be more hassle than it's worth, especially as doing anything under water is slightly more tricky to pull off.
Perhaps a better method is to cut the onion next to steam, such as that coming out of a kettle. The idea here is the steam will draw the gasses out and away from the onion and your eyes.
There's then the method of breathing through your mouth as your cutting. Doing so, the gas will land on your wet tongue, rather than your eyes, by-passing your eyes. I usually feel a bit odd peeling an onion with my mouth open though, especially if I'm cooking in front of my friends!
One last approach I will mention here is to soak the onion in water before you prepare it. Although this does work as it draws the gas out of the onion, it does also reduce the taste of the onion.
Now you know how you can prepare an onion in future without shedding a tear or two, why not leave a comment below with your favourite suggestion. Perhaps we haven't mentioned it here?