Sweet and biting, with its characteristically prickly aroma and staggering versatility, onions are ubiquitous to the global culinary scene. The pungency and bite of the raw onion is determined by the type of onion in question and the sulfur content of the soil, which enters the roots as sulphate salts and converts in the onion to sulphur-containing amino acids. These sulfuric compounds are what make you cry when you cut raw onions; even though sweet onions can contain nearly 20% more sugar compounds than their less sweet counterparts, the sulfur they’ve absorbed can still be aggressive and tear-inducing. All onions, regardless of low or high sugar content, become much more sweet and much less pungent when cooked.
Onions are some of the oldest plants that man cultivated for domestic use. Because they leave negligible amounts of debris behind and are adaptable to a wide range of soils and climates, their origins are difficult to pinpoint. Most researchers agree, though, that onions have been a food crop for more than 5,000 years, most likely originating in central Asia. They were in use in Egypt in 3500 BCE, in Bronze Age gardens in China in 3000 BCE, and a story from Sumer (modern-day Iraq) in 2500 BCE tells of a provincial governor who claimed the best and most fertile lands around a temple as his own. He then had “the gods’ own oxen” plow his fields and tend to his onion patch. Per capita onion consumption in the US stood at 12.2 pounds per person in 1982; today, it’s risen to 20.5 pounds per person and thanks to increased interest in cooking at home, shows no sign of letting up.
The process of drying onions pulls the liquid out of the onion, leaving the strong flavor and aroma. Our onion products are all grown and processed in California except for our shallots, which are cultivated in India.
1-2/3 Tablespoons of Minced Onion = 1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon Granulated Onion = 1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon of Onion Powder = 1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon Granulated Onion = 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder