Choosing Onions

There are hundreds of varieties of storage onions--the large, round onions with papery skins that can be stored for a long time at cool room temperature. They’re used frequently in recipes, and often a particular type is specified. But when no variety is recommended, which onion should you use? That depends on the dish and how strong you want the onion flavor to be.

Yellow onions With their yellow-brown skin and off-white flesh, these are the most common type of storage onions. They’re pungent, juicy and crisp, and they’re the type of onion used most often in the Cooking Club test kitchen. They're good for long cooking because their flavor holds up.

White onions These are mature boiler onions (smaller storage onions) with white skin and flesh. They’re sharp-tasting and crisp, and are often used in Mexican cuisine. They sweeten a bit when cooked.

Red onions These onions are boldly colored with a deep reddish-purple skin and vivid purple flesh. Their flavor is sharp when raw but becomes mild and lose their color when cooked. These are most often used raw or grilled.

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