Used in all cultures, onion is a classic of cooking and serves as a base for many dishes. Whether it’s white, yellow, red, sweet or shallot onions, it not only brings unique flavors but also has health benefits. However, each type of onion goes well with specific dishes.
In addition to taste, the onion is able to bring a touch of salty, sweet or caramelized dishes according to the type chosen and the recipe to concoct. However, it is not only a simple flavor, it also has virtues useful for health.
The health benefits of onion
Like garlic, onions are an effective health ally that can relieve many ailments. Rich in antioxidants, especially quercetin, it helps protect the cells of the body and fight against free radicals. These usually cause cardiovascular disorders and cancers. When combined with a healthy and balanced diet, quercetin also helps to lower bad blood cholesterol (LDL) levels.
In addition, numerous studies have shown that onion acts as an inhibitor of healthy cell mutation into cancer cells and prevents the spread of diseased cells primarily in cases of stomach cancer and bowel cancer.
Onion is particularly known for its anti-infective and anti-inflammatory properties. To relieve an insect bite apply a slice of raw onion, guaranteed effect!
As for people who suffer from kidney failure, the onion is an excellent asset thanks to its diuretic effect. It also prevents the appearance of kidney stones and promotes the healing of respiratory disorders and pulmonary infections.
Knowing how to use the onion wisely can be of great benefit in treating many disorders. As for cooking, it is necessary to know what type of onion best matches the dish to prepare because each has a taste of its own.
What is the difference between onions and how to cook them?
The yellow onion is the most used in cooking. Having a particularly strong smell and taste, it is eaten essentially cooked. To eat it raw, it must be mixed with other ingredients so that its pronounced taste is lessened: salads, tartars or carpaccios. On the other hand, for the cooking, it is the ideal choice because it enhances the dishes especially those which are simmered such as soups, sauces, stews, beef bourguignon etc.
Although they can replace yellow onions, white onions have a more pronounced taste, so they are not suitable for people who do not like their strong taste. In addition, they are more crisp because more waterlogged. Lovers of thrills will be able to raise their salads, their pizzas and their Mexican dishes (burritos, tacos, fajitas) by inserting strips of white onions.
In France, this is the sweet onion Cevennes that is protected by a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin). It is quite expensive but it is explained by the fact that it is particularly tender, melting and sweet. Used by many famous chefs, it is found at the tables of many starred restaurants. This is a little luxury that is worth the detour to prepare dishes where onion is king (onion soup, onion gratin with parmesan cheese).
The red onion
The red onion (whose color is closer to purple than red), is sweeter than yellow onion and eats mostly raw. Its crunch goes well with salads, sandwiches, vinaigrettes and guacamole-style salsas. Cooked, it is ideal to caramelize with a hint of sugar and vinegar to accompany including foie gras and terrines.
Less known and used than onion, shallot is typical of French cuisine and is also found in some Asian recipes. More delicate and less strong than onion, it is possible to consume raw. It is ideal for salad dressing.
A little extra tip
To avoid crying when handling onions, it is advisable to peel and cut them under a trickle of water because the molecule that causes this phenomenon, called thiopropanethial S-oxide dissolves very quickly in water.