back to article Why do you cry when chopping onions? No, it's not crippling anxiety, it's this weird chemical

We’re all familiar with the burning, eye-watering sensation felt when chopping onions, and now we know exactly why. The US National Onion Association estimates that the average American chows through about nine kilograms (20 pounds) of onions every year – that’s a lot of tears. We know that a lachrymatory factor (LF) agent …

  1. adnim
    Joke

    Chop them under water

    The scuba diving kit works wonders

    1. CrazyOldCatMan

      Re: Chop them under water

      Or use red onions. For some reason, I've never had a problem chopping those.

      But then, back in the days when I had hard, gas-perm contact lenses, I never had a problem chopping white onions either..

      I suspect that the irritation caused by the lenses had pretty much made my eyes ignore anything else. And given that I'd worn lenses since I was 18 (mumble, mumble years), my corneas must have had hide like a rhino.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Chop them under water

        How the clever young things overthink stuff.

        Run tap. Wet onion. Wet knife blade. Cut onion tear-free. Periodically repeat wetting of knife blade.

        Old science. Was doing this at the University of Climate Scandals before Star Wars.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Chop them under water

          "Run tap. Wet onion. Wet knife blade. Cut onion tear-free. Periodically repeat wetting of knife blade."

          Same here. A good quality sharp knife and proper steel to keep it honed between uses works wonders. I generally don't even bother with wetting the onion or knife since I'm rarely chopping more than two or three in one session so the job is done before any reaction sets in. It helps doing it by the cooker with the hood extractor fan on too. Just enough of an airflow than any onion fumes are pulled away from me.

    2. swschrad

      and rub hands on the sink afterwards

      only thing worse is wiping your eyes after cutting onions, and they burn right out of your skull.

      however, run a little water over the stainless steel sink, and rub your hands on it. apparently the nickel breaks the compound up.

  2. wolfetone Silver badge

    I think the boffins would've been better off trying to work out why onions don't make you cry if you stick a spoon in your mouth while you cut them.

    1. Solarflare

      They are too busy silently laughing at how ridiculous you look to be able to make you cry.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Works with a fork, too.

      Or a toothpick. Or a lump of bread. Or just not mouth-breathing.

      As a side note, do NOT refrigerate onions! It ruins the flavo(u)r and causes them to rot prematurely. Makes the contents of the fridge smell of Lancashire Hotpot, too, which is not entirely a bad thing ... unless you're putting milk in your tea, or doing anything that requires butter.

      1. King Jack
        WTF?

        Re: Works with a fork, too.

        I keep my onions in the fridge and they taste great and do not rot. They don't stink up the fridge either. I chop onions with a knife and they rarely make me cry. I store the chopped onions in the fridge in an air tight box. Maybe I'm getting old and my eyeballs are hardening or I'm just immune to the gas.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Works with a fork, too.

        "As a side note, do NOT refrigerate onions! "

        I think they are, as per the article, suggesting that they be chilled for a while before chopping, not stored in the fridge.

      3. elDog

        Eh - do not refrigerate?

        That's like an old marketing ploy from Chiquita Banananas or some other rapist of the consumers and the environment, let alone murdurur of thousands of natives. (I get carried away easily.)

        The fallacies about not chilling bananans or onionons seems to be along the lines of "dispose of your [xxxx] when the expiration date has expired.'

        I've always kept my onionions and other alene-containing substances (well, except garlique) in the fridge.

        Has anyone ever published a paper, perhaps a Dissertation, on the amount of false truth-hoods that are spouted herein?

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Eh - do not refrigerate?

          "That's like an old marketing ploy from Chiquita Banananas or some other rapist of the consumers and the environment..."
          Fact: bananas emit ethylene gas as they ripen. Useful if you want to ripen green tomatoes, but that's best conducted at room temperature by placing them together in a paper bag. Bananas stored in the fridge will "ripen" broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts etc, turning them yellow and ruining their flavour.

          Fact: decent onions will induce an off-flavour in milk, apples and other foods. OTOH you might actually enjoy what others consider undesirable in which case, bully for you.

          1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

            Re: Eh - do not refrigerate?

            Bananas stored in the fridge will "ripen" broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts etc, turning them yellow and ruining their flavour.

            It's possible to ruin the flavour of brussel sprouts? How is it possible to ruin something that tastes like the festuring scrapage of a demon's armpit?

    3. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Spoon in mouth: you'll breath through the nose only, which is recommended. Give it a try without spoon, should just work as good.

      Top tip: let the wife do it.

    4. fruitoftheloon
      Happy

      @wolfetone

      Wolfetone,

      if I remember to deliberately keep my mouth open whilst chopping onions, the effect is lessened - presumably I am breating in more of the compound in the immediate atmosphere - so less 'lands' in my eyes...

      Cheers,

      Jay

    5. elDog

      I've heard sticking a fork up ones ass will alleviate most other irritants.

      YM/KV (Your Mileage/Kilometrage May Vary)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you eat them with beans do you make tear gas?

  4. jake Silver badge

    Sharp knives are the key.

    But failing that, in a pinch cut your onions next to a stove with a lit burner. Convection moves the air sideways until it gets to the burner, then it moves up with the heat, avoiding your face. A tea kettle simmering away on the hob works wonders, as does an electric kettle coming to the boil.

    When you are done with your meal, get off your arse and get your knives sharpened properly before you do yourself an injury!

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Sharp knives are the key.

      "When you are done with your meal, get off your arse and get your knives sharpened properly before you do yourself an injury!"
      Even better is to sharpen the knife immediately before use on a good quality steel. Also purchase only good quality knives.

      Thanks Jake for the explanation as to why my onion chopping (actually slicing) is far less tearful than in my previous kitchen :-)

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Sharp knives are the key.

        The steel is for honing, not sharpening. Yes, use a steel each time you use a knife. If you don't know how to use a steel, have the dude/tte who professionally sharpens your knives teach you how. In fact, if you think you do know how, ask anyway. You might be surprised. I was.

        I sharpen my knives monthly, but for most home users getting them sharpened once or twice per year should do it. It's a good use of ~six bucks per blade.

        Get good quality knives![0] This does not necessarily mean expensive ... Most of our cutting needs around here are handled by Victorignox "Fibrox" 8-inch chef's knives ... We use 'em for damn near everything. Under US$50. Their paring knives & etc. are also pretty good, and equally inexpensive.

        As a side note, I've been using a ceramic "steel" for the last several years. Recommended.

        [0] Extend that to any tool ... You'll spend some money initially, true, but you won't have to replace it like you do with cheap crap. The rule around here is "Only buy a tool once."

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Sharp knives are the key.

          "Get good quality knives!"
          I have friends who are professional chefs and they do not use expensive knives at work. I'll second the Victorinox; I have two of their utility knives. Dirt cheap and do the job perfectly. I also have several Icel knives and a cleaver. The same steel as Wüsthof (Solingen), but made in Portugal and a lot cheaper. Most of the professional chefs I know use them because they are far less likely to be stolen.

          It's nice to own a Rolls Royce of a knife, though. My boning knife is Wüsthof and my ham knife is a Dick, but both were purchased in close-out sales.

          And yes, I stand corrected on honing versus sharpening. I have a variety of diamond and tungsten tools for sharpening when needed (rarely).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Sharp knives are the key.

            "My boning knife is Wüsthof and my ham knife is a Dick, but both were purchased..."

            You have a Dick knife? Boy, that is bringing tears to my eyes..........

            1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
              Flame

              Re: Sharp cutlery knives

              I need a steak knife all the time . I am fucking sick of trying to chop my food up with a standard cutlery knife which , although has a token effort at teeth on the side , is basically a butter knife.

              I want to be able to cut a roast potato in half , equally , so that both mouthfuls have a bit of potato and a bit of the tasty skin bit. What happens using a shitty normal knife is that you have to wrestle with the fucking thing , chasing it round the plate , knocking other shit off the side before you end up kind of squashing it into a paste , mashing it you might say , and then scraping half up again . With a steak knife however , you just cut the thing in half - simples.

              This applies to nearly all foods not just roast potatoes . Im not a big eater , but im a big believer in having the right tools for the job - and I dont work out what is the correct method of doing anything by "doing what everyone else does" because quite often , to put it simply , everyone else is wrong!

              Sometime you dont even get a knife! you go to someones house , and they've cooked some lukewarm spaghetti bolognaise and you get a fork , and if you're lucky , a spoon.

              What is this a fucking test? The most difficult food to eat and I dont get the fucking tools?? Bring me everything in your fucking cutlery drawer right now! And depending how useful or not that is i might be going out to the car to get my toolbox.... perhaps a reciprocating saw could convert this stupid italian wheat dish into an eatable form.

              </rant>

              1. Fred M

                Re: Sharp cutlery knives

                I'm going to take a wild guess that you don't get invited round for dinner very often, and that when you do it 's only once.

                1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                  Re: Sharp cutlery knives

                  I do , I'm just not allowed to talk .

              2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                Re: Sharp cutlery knives

                and I dont get the fucking tools?

                Fork and spoon are exactly the right tools with which to eat spaghetti, and if you need a serrated knife to cut your steak you should probably look for a better butcher (or maybe a better cook).

                1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                  Re: Sharp cutlery knives

                  All I'm saying is knives are for cutting , and a knife without teeth is like a knife without teeth.

                  Isnt that where the expression comes from?

                  If you're not spreading butter or jam with a knife you are cutting something - and I see no reason why you should use the knife with the absolute minimum of cutting ability to make it hard for yourself.

                  1. CrazyOldCatMan

                    Re: Sharp cutlery knives

                    knife without teeth is like a knife without teeth

                    That's not a saying I've ever heard.

                  2. Jason Bloomberg
                    Coat

                    Re: Sharp cutlery knives

                    All I'm saying is knives are for cutting , and a knife without teeth is like a knife without teeth.

                    I'll second that. I have one knife other than cutlery. It's a sort of serrated-edge bread knife but with a straight cutting edge and reasonably sturdy blade with little flex. It cost a quid-fifty and has lasted over 30 years. The 'spare' I bought at the same time is still in its original packaging.

                    Never been sharpened once and does everything I need it for without any difficulty or fuss, including murdering onions and trimming steaks. And occasionally cutting twine, envelope and cardboard box opening.

                    I know; sacrilege, heresy, I don't know what I'm missing. Heard it all before, it drives those who care nuts. But it honestly does the job and suits me just fine.

                  3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

                    Re: Sharp cutlery knives

                    Are you sure you're really using the sharp edge of the knife?

                    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                      Re: Sharp cutlery knives

                      "Are you sure you're really using the sharp edge of the knife?"
                      Perhaps he/she is not the sharpest knife in the drawer...

                2. Esme

                  Re: Sharp cutlery knives

                  I disagree - knife and spoon, so you can cut the damned spaghetti into small lengths that you can then spoon up!

                  Personally I prefer lasagna to spag bol for the very reason that it's less faff to actually eat.

                  Yes. I do realise that the civilised folk look somewhat askance at me at mealtimes, but I am at least a house-trained barbarian! 8-}

                  1. Adelio Silver badge

                    Re: Sharp cutlery knives

                    As a child of italian parents I would never think of using anything but a fork to eat my Spagetti. Use different pasta shapes if you find spagetti difficult.

                    It's all in using the fork and past bowl together,

                  2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

                    Re: Sharp cutlery knives

                    Sharp cutlery knives are dangerous. Every time you use them to eat peas you risk cutting your tongue.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Sharp cutlery knives

                      Every time you use them to eat peas you risk cutting your tongue.

                      I eat my peas with honey,

                      I've done it all my life.

                      It makes the peas taste funny,

                      But it keeps them on the knife.

                      Anon.

                      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                        Re: Sharp cutlery knives

                        "I eat my peas with honey..."
                        Shirley that's Ogden Nash...

                    2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                      Re: Sharp cutlery knives

                      "Sharp cutlery knives are dangerous. Every time you use them to eat peas you risk cutting your tongue."

                      thats what your forks for! or better still - spoon!

              3. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: Sharp cutlery knives

                "I need a steak knife all the time . I am fucking sick of trying to chop my food up... "
                You could try asking mummy or daddy to cut your food up for you...

            2. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: Sharp knives are the key.

              "You have a Dick knife? Boy, that is bringing tears to my eyes..."

              Jealous? :-)

              Salmon/Ham Slicer, flexible, Kullenschliff

          2. MonkeyCee

            Re: Sharp knives are the key.

            "...and my ham knife is a Dick"

            You are Ramsey Bolton and I claim my five quid :)

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Sharp knives are the key.

      If my kitchen knives or any work knife is not sharp enough to shave arm hair it will be sharpened before use, a blunt knife (ortool) is dangerous.

      I was thinking, my wallet seems to produce LF , every time I open it to pay for something my eyes get tearful.

    3. CrazyOldCatMan

      Re: Sharp knives are the key.

      get your knives sharpened properly

      I sometimes get complaints from the senior management that the knives in the knife block are too sharp and that she cuts herself.

      Finally, I got round to showing her how to use them properly..

      Wanting to have blunt knives is like wanting to use Windows instead of a proper OS..

  5. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

    Simplest solution?

    Wet the knife before you start cutting - the water residue on the knife will bind it.

    Refresh as needed - I find that doing it once is enough for one onion - and on average I need like half an onion for most things anyway.

  6. Steve Button

    £3.25 TWICE the price?

    £0.75/kg in Tesco. I think you're out of touch with the price of things.

    And also Onion Goggles ...

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/1b3/RSVP-5380-Onion-Goggles/B000H43IVM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1501746038&sr=8-2&keywords=onion+goggles

    ... work brilliantly.

    1. Soulhand

      Re: £3.25 TWICE the price?

      > £0.75/kg in Tesco. I think you're out of touch with the price of things.

      Given they are from Japan, it's probably "twice the local price". Which according to https://www.numbeo.com/food-prices/country_result.jsp?country=Japan is about £2.40 / kg at the moment.

  7. Sebastian Brosig
    Facepalm

    i chop a lot of onions

    It's because I like them. Sharp knives - yes. Scuba kit, chopping under water? Hell no. The first is impractical (will get fogged up or greasy in the kitchen) the second will leave you with wet onions, and who wants that?

    I think the main thing is just getting used to it. Yes tears will flow but that's it: no harm done. besides, it wears off, as I first experienced after chopping a few kg for an onion tart for a biggish crowd.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: i chop a lot of onions

      I think it also helps if your knife skills are reasonable.

      Not that I'm anything like at chef-level, but I cook quite a lot.

      I was doing ratatouille for 10 on Saturday. A friend offered to help and got stuck on veg-chopping duty. And he was leaning quite close to his chopping board. Presumably because he doesn't chop much and was looking at what he was doing. I'm pretty sure that's how I used to do it as well, given I've got very poor eyesight. But now I'm as much working by feel, as by sight. Using my hand to guide the knife, so I can chop without losing fingers.

      So while his eyes are nice and close to the onions, mine would be much further away. Or that could make no difference, and it's just that I'm used to it. Occasionally I'll get a batch of really strong ones that bring a few tears - but normally there's no effect.

      Now the time I stupidly used a blunt knife and squirted chilli juice into my eye - that did cause tears. My eye was red and swollen for the next 2 days. I think it watered for about 2 hours.

      1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: i chop a lot of onions

        "

        Now the time I stupidly used a blunt knife and squirted chilli juice into my eye - that did cause tears. My eye was red and swollen for the next 2 days. I think it watered for about 2 hours.

        "

        Not nearly as bad as having a pee when you have chilli juice on your hands. Did that. Once.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. wiggers

    I remember hearing about a British farmer who had worked out that sulphur that was the main problem. He treated a field to remove all sulphur compounds and the onions he grew were tear-free. This was about ten years ago I think!

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      "He treated a field to remove all sulphur compounds and the onions he grew were tear-free. This was about ten years ago I think!"
      In your dreams methinks! Onion yield is strongly correlated with S in the soil. Sulphur deficiency shows as much reduced bulb size and high susceptibility to pests and fungal disease. Here in Tasmania onion growers shifting to high analysis fertilisers were shocked by the reduction in onion yields due to the lack of sulphur.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          But they get it cheap from the power station scrubbers.

          And the sulphur?

      2. wiggers

        "In your dreams methinks! Onion yield is strongly correlated with S in the soil."

        I understood that he had also bred a new cultivar that gave good yields on S poor soil.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          "I understood that he had also bred a new cultivar that gave good yields on S poor soil."
          A flavourless onion IOW. Each to their own I suppose...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The "stinging gas" doesn't actually sting. It touches H2O on the eyeball and generates sulfuric acid, which does sting quite a lot.

  10. Dieter Haussmann

    Just cut them on top of the hob with the cooker hood on.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Is that like an upgraded version of the tinfoil hat?

  11. Pompous Git Silver badge

    Another onion tip

    It takes about half a minute for the offending gas* to form and reach your eye. So slicing quickly with a sharp knife means you can make small dice before the tears start.

    How To Finely Chop An Onion - Gordon Ramsay

    * I was taught that it was SO3 that was the culprit, but that was 50+ years ago.

  12. John H Woods Silver badge

    9kg?

    "The US National Onion Association estimates that the average American chows through about nine kilograms (20 pounds) of onions every year – that’s a lot of tears."

    I should imagine it's the US NOA that's weeping, as this effectively means Americans don't really eat onions ... one decent sized onion per week ... really?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: 9kg?

      I suspect that's off by at least a factor of two, and probably closer to four or five. 20 pounds per year works out to about 6oz of onions per week, or about half an average onion (my kitchen scale says they weigh right around 12oz each).

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: 9kg?

        "about 6oz of onions per week, or about half an average onion"
        But does the average American eat real food? My best friend was American and when he returned to the US in the 1990s said he couldn't wait to get back to Tasmania to eat real food again. It's a rare meal chez Git that doesn't include at least one onion.

      2. John H Woods Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: 9kg?

        A 12 oz onion is pretty large, but ok, dealing with large onions it's half an onion per week. Out by a factor of 4 or 5? Nonsense ... now you are looking at onions weighing more than a kilo each.

        6oz of onions per week is hardly any onions. I don't care if it is one decent size onion, as I said, half a large onion, as you said, or a quarter of some prize behemoth ... it's still hardly any onions.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan

      Re: 9kg?

      one decent sized onion per week ... really?

      That's about all I eat. Disclaimer - I am not from the US.

      About the only thing I use onions in are curries. Or salads - and that almost always red onions.

      Mainly because I really don't like the flavour[1] and the curry has sufficient other strong flavours that the onion becomes a flavour-modifier rather than a flavour in itself. Same goes for garlic[2].

      And leeks are strictly verboten, despite my Welsh ancestry.

      [1] Except raw red onion. I quite like that. But cooked red onion doesn't taste anything like raw red onion.

      [2] Again - I do use it in cooking Chinese or Indian food because it forms part of the flavour profile as a whole. But not in the same quantities that the rest of my family do.

  13. IsJustabloke
    Happy

    pah!

    It's a rare onion indeed that makes my eyes water... I've often watched friends chopping onions through tears and wondered why it affects them and not me.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: pah!

      You can come run my buffalo chopper next time I make soup. I guarantee that 35 pounds of onions getting reduced to soup-size will bring a tear to your eye.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: pah!

        "You can come run my buffalo chopper next time I make soup."
        Having no need to chop buffaloes, I use a mandolin.

        1. Warm Braw Silver badge

          Re: pah!

          I don't think I've ever had mandolin soup. Do you have a recipe?

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: pah!

            Mandolin soup is delicious. It's just the bits in it can be a bit stringy...

          2. CrazyOldCatMan

            Re: pah!

            I don't think I've ever had mandolin soup. Do you have a recipe?

            Not on me. But I do remember that, if a mandolin isn't available, then a banjo is a good substitute.

            And it gets the banjo out of circulation so it's a win-win.

            1. Pedigree-Pete
              Happy

              Re: Mandolin...

              ..thank you Commentariat. I now have Rod Stewarts Maggie May rattling around in my head. Hey Ho. Could be worse. PP

            2. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: pah!

              "And it gets the banjo out of circulation so it's a win-win."
              Oh I dunno. This dude's playing at my best mate's 70th next Saturday.

              Montz playing banjo at Tamworth

          3. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: pah!

            "I don't think I've ever had mandolin soup. Do you have a recipe?"
            It never occurred to me to try cooking one! Might taste a bit plasticky...

            Zyliss 'Easy Slice' Mandolin Slicer

      2. Prosthetic Conscience
        Joke

        Re: pah!

        Perhaps you're empty inside?

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: pah!

      Perhaps you are using my solution: Be very tall, stand back from the work surface, chop at arms length and keep your hands away from you face until after you have washed them thoroughly.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reminds me of the time I used to work in a Supermarket many years ago, this little old lady came and asked for Onions and I told her we didn't have any and they were coming in tomorrow so she looks round and asks me where the onions are again, so I tell we haven't got any, so she walks up and down the aisle then asks me again, so I said to her if you answer a couple of questions I'll go and get some onions from the back, so I ask her to spell "cat" as in catastrophic, so she spells it, then I ask her to spell "dog" as in dogmatic", so she spells it out, then I ask her to spell "fuck" as in onions, so she says "there's no fuck in onion", I said "I know, that's what I've been trying to tell you".

    1. Spacedinvader
      Happy

      made me smile

    2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Brilliant!

      And can be adapted for so many situations!

      "now spell fuck as in way"

      "now spell fuck as in time"

      ..staff

      ...money

      ..pudding

      ad infinitum

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What would've happened if she'd replied instead, "O-N-I-O-N-WHERE ARE THE FUCKING ONIONS THAT ARE SUPPOSED TO ALWAYS BE HERE!---S."?

  15. Little Mouse Silver badge

    Defense Mechanism?

    and this is presumably produced by the onion as a natural defense mechanism

    Or, just maybe, our eye-watering discomfort is a defense mechanism of our own. From way back when vicious onions roamed in packs, and our caveman ancestors learned the hard way not to mess with them.

    Probably.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Defense Mechanism?

      "...way back when vicious onions roamed in packs, and our caveman ancestors learned the hard way not to mess with them."

      Reminded me of this:

      Early vegetarians returning from the kill

    2. Rattus Rattus

      Re: Defense Mechanism?

      I have only been able to find documentary evidence showing that cabbages roamed in packs.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Defense Mechanism?

        "I have only been able to find documentary evidence showing that cabbages roamed in packs."
        You didn't look very hard then...

        Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

  16. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Another solution looking for a problem.

    The easy way round this is with a simple fan. Its worth having one in your kitchen anyway to stop pans boiling over. It really comes into its own when you have brats in nappies. In my case it stops the smell of shit hitting the man.

  17. Duffy Moon

    I shall continue to keep my onions in the fridge in hot weather (otherwise they turn to mush in a few days) and pulse-chop them in a processor. They taste absolutely fine to me.

  18. D@v3

    a couple of things...

    1) who the hell cuts an onion with a bread knife? (see pic) also, 1 handed!? this man is a fool.

    2) i have found it is the root of the onion that produces the most / worse LF, chopping from the other end rarely causes me any issues.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: a couple of things...

      "2) i have found it is the root of the onion that produces the most / worse LF, chopping from the other end rarely causes me any issues."

      Bets way to do it anyway. Peel back the skin layer to the root then you can use that as a "handle" to hold the onion with as your cutting gets near that end.

  19. JimmyPage
    Stop

    TL;DR but my option ...

    is to not use onions. I hate the ****ing things. I also hate the received wisdom that "everybody" likes onions so they pop up (often unannounced) in ready means and restaurant recipes. Invariably chunky and uncooked (which admittedly makes it easier to remove them).

    That said, if Mrs Page *has* to cook something with onions, it's cut them very fine, and fry them senseless before blending them into a (hot) curry.

  20. sisk

    Wasn't this already known? Or am I mistaken about that?

    At any rate, I've never had much of a problem with onions. Only the most potent of potent onions seem to affect me, so 99% of the time I can cut them up with impunity. The other 1% of the time folks in the next room are tearing up from them.

  21. Chemical Bob

    Fancy-Shmantsy Smarty-Pantsies

    But have they figured out why ogres are like onions?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bMcXVe8zIs

  22. Captain Obvious
    Joke

    So this is where

    wannacry started :)

  23. Cranky_Yank

    Why can't we get along?

    Onions stopped making me cry after I agreed to stop beating eggs and whipping cream.

  24. LaeMing
    Headmaster

    In Onion...

    ...there is strength.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: In Onion...

      Have you ever seen it? I've never had the privilege...

  25. Humph3
    Joke

    The key to chopping onions with crying

    is to not get too emotionally attached to them.

  26. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Knives and swords and cutlery and stuff: Klingenmuseum Solingen (en). Worth a visit if you're in the area.

  27. athame

    Just wear eye protection - ordinary glasses are fine. It works.:-)

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