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The all-rounder in the kitchen is clearly the onion. Whether as a spice or as a main ingredient in a meal - hardly any other vegetable is as versatile as the onion. In addition to many vitamins and minerals, the onion contains essential oils and sulphurous compounds (sulfides), which are secondary plant substances. Onions should always be cut or diced with a sharp knife, otherwise they will develop a bitter taste…
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- Use and preparation
The onion (Allium cepa) belongs to the daffodil family (Amaryllidaceae) and is grown for one to two years. The onion family is very diverse and differs in color, shape, size, harvest time and shelf life. Depending on the variety, the aroma ranges from mildly sweet to spicy. Onions are round, oval, oblong or flat and grow with a diameter of four to ten centimeters. The most important varieties grown in this country are yellow (kitchen or vegetable onions), white and red onions. Spring and spring onions do not form a real bulb. Spring onions are not fully ripe because they were harvested prematurely.The shallot, which is often used in French and upscale cuisine, consists of a pear-shaped main onion and many daughter onions surrounded by a reddish-brown skin. Their aroma is particularly fine and mild.
Onions from Austria are available all year round. The main harvest is between spring and late summer.
Note Onions form fleshy leaves underground that thicken into a tuber. The leaves sit on the onion pie, which forms the roots.
Onions have a high water content, hardly any fat and therefore a low calorie content. They provide different vitamins and minerals such as vitamins of the B group, vitamin C, potassium and selenium. The carbohydrate content varies depending on the variety - milder onions have a higher proportion of sugar. They also contain many essential oils and sulphurous compounds (sulfides), which are secondary plant substances.
The sulphurous alliins are responsible for the typical smell and taste of the onion. Their volatile compounds only arise when the tuber is cut. Propanthial sulfoxide, the substance that triggers the unpleasant flow of tears when chopping onions, also contains sulfur.
|per 100 g edible
|per 100 g edible
|Energy (kcal)||27||Iron (mg)||0.3|
|Fat (g)||0.3||Vitamin A (µg)||1|
|Protein (g)||1.2||Vitamin B1 (mg)||0.03|
|Carbohydrates (g)||4.9||Vitamin B2 (mg)||0.03|
|Dietary fiber (g)||1.8||Niacin (mg)||0.2|
|Potassium (mg)||162||Vitamin B6 (mg)||0.13|
|Calcium (mg)||31||Vitamin C (mg)||10|
|Magnesium (mg)||11||Vitamin E (mg)||0.1|
Use and preparation
Hardly any other vegetable is as versatile as the onion - raw, roasted or cooked it is the base of the seasoning in many dishes. It is an essential main ingredient in many dishes such as onion soup, onion tart or strudel. Onions are used in numerous vegetable, fish and meat dishes, soups, sauces, salads, spreads and much more. They taste good when they are placed in vinegar, for example as pearl onions or Italian antipasti. Red onions are milder and their decorative appearance makes them very suitable for garnishing.
Onions should always be cut or diced with a sharp knife, otherwise they will develop a bitter taste. They should also be cut just before use, as they easily lose their taste and intensity.
Note Freezing the bulb for about 20 minutes or rinsing the cutting board, knife and onion with water will reduce the stinging of the eyes when cutting.
When buying stored onions, make sure that the fruit is firm and plump. The shell should be dry and clean. In no case should the onion have rotten spots. The rustling of the skin indicates that the outer skin of the onion has dried well. If the onion is attacking itself softly or if it already has green shoots, this is an indication of overlay. When shopping for spring or spring onions, you should pay attention to crisp, fresh leaves and no pressure points.
If onions are stored in an airy, dry and dark place, they can be kept for several months. Under no circumstances should they be stored wrapped in foil or plastic. Temperatures between one and two degrees Celsius are ideal for stored onions. Spring onions or spring onions are kept in the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator and keep there for four to five days.
Note When onions begin to germinate, they should be eaten as soon as possible.