The most dreadful task for me while cooking is chopping onions. And it is like, I need onions for most of my cooking so it’s one of the most important task for me. The reason why I dislike it is – of course – because of the tears that follow. I tried a lot of tips gathered from friends, relatives and neighbors. One of them asked me to chew gum. Okay, I did that but it didn’t help to stop those tears, except that my gums got stronger. The other time I tried by wearing a goggles. That wasn’t of much help either.
I researched why only the onions give tears and not any other vegetable. The cells of onions contain amino acids called as sulfoxides (too much chemistry). Now when you cut the onions, you are actually cutting its cells. So the logic is you have hurt the onion, now the onions hurt you by releasing a gas which in turn brings tears to our eyes.
Tip 1 – I have found that freezing the onions for 10 mins reduces the onions to build up tears to a very great extent. So the next time you want to chop onions, freeze them for a while and then cut them. See, it works!
Tip 2 – If you do not have time to freeze, there is another method that works. Dip your knife in olive oil or any mineral oil and then cut them. This also helps to reduce tears caused by the cutting of onion.