Are you thinking Tarte à l’Oignon (Onion Tart) would be just about perfect for your Mothers’ Day brunch? … but don’t want to deal with the tears from slicing two pounds of onions. Sweet onions, red onions or yellow onions, they all contain sulfides that are released into the air as soon as you start to chop, dice or slice them. These sulfides irritate your eyes which defend themselves with a flood of tears to flush away the irritants.
Unless you are in need of a good cry (and who isn’t from time to time), here are a few tips to help you battle the tears. Give them a try and see which one works for you!
Chill the onions first. Either store them in the refrigerator or toss them in the freezer for ten minutes before cutting.
Give the onions a good soak in cold water before slicing.
Use a good, sharp knife for a clean cut. Dull blades release more onion fumes. In addition, a sharp knife will make short work of an onion, giving you less time to cry.
Open a window or plug in a fan and cut your onions in a well-ventilated room.
Light a candle and set it next to your cutting board. The heat will attract the onion fumes.
Breathe through your mouth and not your nose when you chop.
Cover your eyes with onion goggles. And if you don’t feel like plunking down another $20 for another kitchen gadget? Just slip on your swim goggles or your kid’s snorkel mask.
Happy cooking and bon appétit!
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