Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Goodbye Onion Tears!

I'm taking a break today from recipe posting, as we just returned from vacation and need to prepare for Thanksgiving! Yahoo.

Speaking of which, with Thanksgiving upon us, there are a lot of onions out there, ready to be chopped. I, for one, hate the sting of onion fumes. I tear up and look like a raccoon within seconds.

I was reading a post from another food blogger (And darn it, I can't remember where/who now! If you read this post too, please let me know, as I'd like to give credit and link back) about her remedy: have a candle lit very close to your cutting board, while chopping the onion. Supposedly, it burns away the sulphuric fumes of the onion. Interesting. Has anyone ever tried this?

My mom told me that by not cutting the root end, you can prevent tears. Never worked.

I got a little curious (ok, bored), and decided to look up a few other old wives tales for onion tear prevention. Here are a few of the ideas out there:

- Have running water next to your cutting board while chopping onions
- Before cutting, apply cooking oil to your knife
- Stick a toothpick in your mouth while you cut the onion (Seriously? Someone please try this!)
- Keep your mouth shut and don't talk (Remember to breath, please)
- Place onion in the freezer for an hour before cutting
- Wear contact lenses (Apparently, this is one of the few times people with good vision get screwed)
- Peel the onion first under cool running water
- Chew gum
- Hold a piece of bread in your mouth (The image alone made me laugh)

And drum roll... my favorite recommendation:

- Hold a match or incense stick in your mouth (red tip out) while you cut the onion and your eyes won't tear up at all. (Lit or unlit? Be sure to cut quickly!)

I'll be trying the gum chewing method, and perhaps the candle. Hey, can't hurt.

Previously posted, favorite recipes:
- Fried Rice with Tofu
- Chickpea and Corn Fritters with Chipotle Salsa
- Enchiladas

Guten appetit!


Grace said...

Supposedly having a very sharp knife will stop onion tears! So if you sharpen your knife often, you should be good. :)

Laura said...

@Grace: I'll have to try that, I admit, I hardly ever sharpen my knives. I tried the gum, and it didn't work.

Bethy said...

I saw an episode of myth busters where they tryed a number of these tricks... the only one they felt had any validity was to cool the onion down(ie put it in a freezer for a few minutes), before cutting.