Cooking Instructor, Food Blogger, Cookbook Author, and Personal Chef, bringing the traditional and authentic taste of regional Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Tunisian, and Moroccan cuisine to your table.
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The Onion "Allium Cepa", in the same family as
garlic, is one of the oldest edible plants dating back 3500 years. Although its
origin is not so clear, it probably originated in the homeland of ancient Persia,
in parts of Western Asia, and the Mediterranean. It was one of the favorite
foods by the Egyptians who worshipped it as a divinity and, along with garlic,
constituted the only source of livelihood for slaves engaged in the
construction of the pyramids. Among the ancient Greeks and Romans, it was used
to treat coughs, colds and sore throats and together with a little salt was a
habitual breakfast as well as being used in countless dishes. In the middle
ages, onions were used as protection against diseases.
Red Onion (Tropea)
Today the onion is grown throughout the world and is one
of the most widely used aromatics in cuisines around the world. The Onion is a
product of very ancient gardens. It is an herbaceous plant that produces its
bulbs annually. The land on which it grows is generally a fertile soil that
does not fear different climates. The part we eat is the "bulb",
which can be eaten both raw and cooked. The onion has a particular flavor that gives
dishes a pleasant taste and is often used as a "base" for the
preparation of broth, soups, casseroles, risottos, meats, tasty sauces, stuffed
onions, in salads and frittata.
There are many
varieties of onions that differ in the shape of the bulb, color of "robes" (skin), size and
flavor. Generally, the red onion has a greater amount of aromatic substances
than white, though nutritionally, there are no special differences. When the
onion is fresh, it gives off a strong odor, caused by allyl isocyanate, which generally
has irritating effects on the eyes and mucous membranes. When the onion is cooked,
the substance disappears and the onion becomes remarkably sweeter in taste.
The onion has high water content, about 85%, 10%
carbohydrates, 2% protein and fat content almost non-existent. Its vitamin
content is low (B vitamins, vitamin PP and C).
How to recognize an onion is really fresh?
It is important that it is compact, rather firm and
without dents, stains, or mold
Tip to avoid watering eyes
Peel onions under cold water. Use a very sharp knife when
cutting an onion, “the sharper the knife, the less you cry”?
How to Store Onions
Onions can last for
several weeks (if not months) without compromising their taste or nutritional
value. Onions must be stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place.
Once the onion is cut, wrap
left over portion in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator. It will keep for
a few days.
Onions can be chopped and
frozen in the freezer for a few months in freezer bags.They will not be as crunchy, however cooked
are still very tasty.
Suitable for cooking, smells
bitterly pungent somewhat irritating to the eyes and nose. Has more papery skin.Can be cooked just like yellow onions,
delicious minced and added to raw salsas or chutneys.
Can be cooked or appropriate
to eat raw. Has sweet and delicate taste. This fleshy red Tropea is also excellent
be used in salads, salsas, and other raw preparations for their color and
relatively mild flavor. The lovely red color becomes somewhat washed out during
cooking. Can be used cooked in soups, pasta dishes, meats and seafood.
Considered an all-purpose
onion, most often used. Has a nice balance of sweet and astringency flavor.
They become sweeter the longer they cook. Are to be consumed cooked. Strong and
pungent. Can be cut into rings, floured and fried. Is a great side dish to meat dishes.Spanish onions are a kind of yellow onion
which are sweeter and more delicate in flavor when cooked.
and Vidalia are the most common kinds of sweet onions. Really do taste sweet. Thinly sliced
they can be served in salads or on top of sandwiches. Sweet onions tend to be
more perishable and should be store in the refrigerator.
The most delicate, suitable
for raw, pungent. Use the green part, fine chopped, for garnish. White part can be used raw in
salads, and salsas.Cooked can be used
in stir fried foods or Mexican foods.
Are fleshy but also tender and
crunchy. More delicate aroma and flavor than the onion. Clean them well. Tastier
steamed and cut into slices. Great in soups or baked.
Are the sweetest, delicate,
midway between garlic and onion, can be used as substitute to both. Is used in
many white sauces, such as béarnaise sauce, and in salad dressings.
Refrigeration for shallots is not recommended, as cold temperatures tend to