Those that know me well, know that I am a pretty soppy chap who loves a good Richard Curtis movie.
But there is a time and a place for blubbing, and prepping veg is not it.
Why onions make you cry
The reason onions make you cry is that they are packed full of sulphates that, when released, float up and react with the water in your eyes (to create a super mild form of sulphuric acid). This causes the stinging and the way your brain reacts is to try and wash it away by flooding your tear ducts until they burst into uncontrollable sobbing.
How to stop it
You won’t ever be able to get rid of the sulphates but there are ways of reducing the amount that make it to your face. There are a few tricks that help like holding a lime wedge in your mouth or wearing sun glasses but in both cases you’re going to look like a bit of a Rodney.
Without gimmicks, the best way to reduce the release of the sulphates is to keep the onion in as tighter shape as possible and this is done by keeping the root in tact for as long as possible.
This technique is a bit fiddly at first, but the more you practice it the easier it becomes and after a while you’ll have no idea why you would ever have done it differently. I was very lucky to learn this from an old head chef who I still have unwavering respect for.
The tighter the onion holds together the harder it is for the sulphates to escape and float up to your eyes.
This technique also makes it easier to get an even dice and reduces the chance of the knife slipping.
I run through it in the attached video, hope it helps!
I’m off to go watch Love Actually with a big tub of ice-cream and a blanket.