When you read a recipe, do you wonder if surely using yellow, white or red onions will make a difference? Some dishes call for a specific type of onion, and you may be surprised, but they differ not only in color, but also in texture and taste. In terms of cooking, all onions behave the same, but it’s always worth remembering certain rules. With this knowledge, your dishes will always be delicious!
Before we get to the differences between the most popular types of onions, do you know which onion to choose when you go shopping?
When buying onions, it’s a good idea to check which one is heavier and harder. Avoid one that is soft and still has a pungent smell before peeling – these signs suggest that the onion is old. Except for sweet onions, all other types of this vegetable can be stored for several weeks in a cool, dark pantry or closet.
This is probably the most popular variety of onion that you most often see in the store. The balance between tart and sweet flavor, is very balanced, but the longer you cook this onion, the sweeter it becomes. Yellow onions are usually the size of a fist and have a fairly tough outer skin and fleshy layers that are difficult to cut through. In stores, you will most often buy yellow onions, which are a variety of Spanish onions – they are slightly sweeter and milder in flavor. It is great for spicy or sour dishes, as well as very meaty dishes, because of its sweetness, mellowing the taste. In fact, this variety of onion is suitable in everything even for soups or salads. It is suitable for frying, cooking and caramelizing.
White onions have a sharper and more pungent flavor than yellow onions, plus they also have a thinner skin. This variety can be cooked in the same way as yellow onions, but it tastes best when minced and served in sauces or salads. Its downside is a pungent odor that irritates the eyes.
Although red onions look different from the two lighter varieties, they are quite similar in taste to yellow onions, although their layers are slightly less tender and fleshy. Red onions are more acidic, making them more often used in salads or burgers than in cooked dishes. A little tip: if you find the taste of red onions too tart, soak them in water before serving.
Sweet onions look very similar to the average yellow onion, but taste very different. It is not as sharp and tart in taste but actually has a sweeter aftertaste. You can slice this onion and add it to your sandwich. It is white and yellow in color and slightly flattened in appearance. Because this variety is slightly softer, it will have a shorter shelf life and should be stored in the refrigerator.
Do you have a favorite type?