We’ve all been there. You’re chopping up onions for dinner and all of a sudden, there it is, that itchy feeling in your eyes. Next thing you know, you’re crying all over the kitchen. Uncomfortable and embarrassing. This cooking cliche has been happening to people for years, but we now know why this phenomenon happens and how we can avoid it! Would you like to learn how to stop your onion-related tears? Watch the video below to learn the correct way to chop up an onion. No crying required.
The scientific answer goes something like this: the root of the onion contains sulfur which, when the root is cut into, releases into the air. The sulfur mixes with the oxygen in our eyes and creates sulfuric acid. This acid then causes us to cry.
The bottom line: DON’T CUT OPEN THE ROOT OF THE ONION.
To avoid this irritating chemical reaction in our eyes, we want to avoid releasing the sulfur into the air. So that means cutting the onion root is a no-no. The best way to avoid this is to just take the root off the onion all together with a big slice.
Now, for chopping the rest of your onion correctly, start by using the curve of the onion to create long slices. Make sure you keep the bloom (that’s the top of the onion) intact so that the sliced onion looks splayed out like a fan when you’re done.
Then, then slice the onions towards you and you’ll see the onion being perfectly diced into little squares, falling very neatly and easily from the bloom! Stop once you get to the bloom and enjoy your tear-free onions.