The Different Types Of Onions
Have you ever gone to the store to get an onion for your latest recipe and stared at all the varieties to choose from? Does it really matter if you use a red or yellow onion in your dish? Yes it does! I’ll be sharing the different types of onions and best uses for them. Having the right variety of onion for select dishes will make your dinner taste like perfection!
Onions are very affordable and equally versatile. They can be used in fresh salads, topping for your sandwiches, roasted, grilled, fried, garnishes, and so much more. A lot of people will either love the rich flavors of an onion or hate them. They are a huge part of dishes in many households as it adds a good amount of flavor to any recipe. Below we will take a deeper look at all the variety of onions.
If your recipe calls for a specific type of onion, but you don’t have it on hand, you can substitute a different variety of onion in your recipe. It might change the flavor a bit but it won’t be the end of the world. Once you begin to work with the different onion varieties you will begin to taste the differences and find your preference. Some people exclusively use one type of onion to cook with regardless of the recipe because they prefer that taste of onion.
Yellow onions are used most often. They have a darker skin with a rich ivory white flesh. Generally, if a recipe doesn’t specify what type of onion, it is safe to say go for the yellow onion variety. Yellow onions taste better when they are cooked and they become sweeter the longer they are cooked. I have used yellow onions to caramelize in the past and found success with them.
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Red onions are gorgeous to look at. They offer a reddish flesh that is known to dress up dishes by their stunning colors. Red onions tend to be used in salads, salsas, topping for pizzas, and other raw dishes, as they offer a more mild flavor. If you find their raw flavor to be a little harsh, soak in some water before you serve them to help tame down the flavor.
White onions tend to be strong and pungent in flavor. They have a more crisp texture and are great for dishes where the onion needs to stand out more. White onions are often used in a casserole, guacamole, Mexican dish, or even a soup.
In my opinion, nothing beats a sweet onion. They are larger and a little more flat than a yellow onion and a bit lighter in their color. What is unique about sweet onions is they contain more sugar, which makes them great for cooking. Sweet onion varieties are Vidalia, Walla Walla, Maui, and more. They’re great for caramelizing (although they will shrink quite a bit) and topping your favorite meats, salads, sandwiches and other raw preps. Sweet onions are best when you store them in the fridge as they can spoil a lot faster than other varieties.
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Chefs on cooking shows talk about shallots in many of their dishes. They are pungent and offer a garlicky taste and odor to them. They are little bulbs that are great for finely dicing and tossing into dishes to add more of an intense flavor. A little goes quite a long way with these small onions. They are great to saute and add to pasta dishes, salad dressings, sauces, roasting with meats to add flavor, and much more.
White on the ends and have long green stems. The green ends offer a nice mild taste and are used in a lot of raw style dishes and to use as a garnish for a dish. Some people refer to green onions as scallions, salad onions and spring onions. You can chop up the white and green portions and use in any dish. These onions are used for topping casseroles, soups, salads, tacos, omelets, and the list goes on.