Onions are members of the genus Allium which also includes garlic, shallots, leeks, and chives. These vegetables contain various vitamins, minerals, and potent plant compounds that have been shown to promote health in many ways.
Onions are used to enhance the flavors of food. The magic bulbs are divided into green onions and dry onions. The sweet ones are the ones produced during spring and summer. These spring/summer and fall/winter varieties are classified under the dry onions. The green ones are used for making soups, salads, baked potatoes.
Onions are a very good source of vitamin C, as well as B6, biotin, chromium, calcium, and dietary fiber. In addition, they contain good amounts of folic acid and vitamin B1 and K.
Different Types Of Onions With Pictures
#1. Yellow onions
Yellow Onions is considered as an all-purpose onion. It is the most used variety of onion used worldwide. Yellow onions have a nice balance of astringency and sweet in their flavor. They become sweeter the longer they are cooked. They are usually fist-sized with fairly tough outer skin and meaty layers. Its heavy brown parchment skin surrounds ivory white flesh with a strong, sulphury, pungent flavor and aroma.
#2. Sweet / Bermuda onions
These onions are great for stuffing and baking, they’re also delicately sweet. Sweet onion is not very pungent compared to other varieties. It is a big onion that has white flesh and a mild flavor. They have less sulfur than other varieties. They have a slightly different shape as well. They are more flat and oval than round.
These onions lack the sharp, astringent taste of other onions and really do taste sweet. They are fantastic thinly sliced and served in salads or on top of sandwiches. They can range in color from white to yellow and often have a flattened or squashed appearance. Sweet onions tend to be more perishable than other onions and should be store in the refrigerator.
#3. Red onions
Red onions are sweeter than most other onions because they have more sugar content. They taste great in potato salads and on tacos. They are a key topping on BBQ pizza as well. They are arguably the most bearable type of onion to eat raw. They have deep purple outer skin and a reddish flesh.
They are fairly similar to yellow onions in flavor, though their layers are slightly less tender and meaty. Red onions are most often used in salads, salsas, and other raw preparations for their color and relatively mild flavor. The lovely red color becomes washed out during cooking.
#4. White onions
These onions have a sharper and more pungent flavor than yellow onions. They are tenderer and have a thinner, more papery skin. They can be cooked just like yellow onions.
#5. Shallots onions
Shallots onions are small, brown-skinned onions with purplish flesh, and their bulbs are made up of multiple lobes, a little bit like the way garlic bulbs are divided into individual cloves. They impart a very intense flavor, and because they are smaller, composed of thinner layers, they can be minced very finely and used in salad dressings and sauces.
#6. Scallions onions
Scallions are long, with a white stem end that does not bulge out. They have an oniony but mild taste that is not as intense as regular onions (the white parts contain the most intense flavor). They can be used raw or in its cooked state, and while some cooks discard the darker green tops, the whole thing can be eaten.
It is often used in Asian cooking. They are immature onions that have not yet formed a bulb, or only partially. The entire plant is usually used, including the tall green shoots, and they make a wonderful garnish for soups, omelets, etc.
#7. Spring onions
Spring onions have small onion bulbs at the base. These onions come from the varieties that produce bulbs and are basically more mature versions of scallions. They are planted as seedlings in the late fall and then harvested the next spring, thus the word “spring” in its name.
Spring onions are sweeter and mellower than regular onions. The bulbs can be red or white, depending on the variety, and while they can be used in much the same way as regular bulb onions. Spring onions have carotenoids which help to keep the vision healthy and intact. It is also rich in vitamin A which prevents loss of eye-sight.
#8. Cippolini onions
They have a very rich and sweet taste. They appear to be as small as a ping-pong ball with a flat top. They are used in baking dishes such as roasted chicken, etc. due to the high sugar content in them. They have a well-developed flavor that is a little sweet.
#9. Baby / Pearls onions
Pearl onions are tiny white, dried onions (about 1/2″ or less in diameter) used in cooking a variety of stews, soups, and meat dishes. Pearl onions can be added to salads, garnished on cocktails, or served as appetizer on plates. They can also be skewered with meat and vegetables and grilled for a smoky, caramelized finish. Pearl onions are smaller than boiling onions.
These little onions are notoriously difficult to peel. The onions can be found in white, brown or red colour. The easiest peeling method is to drop them into a small pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds then transfer them to a bowl of water with ice making the outer skins easier to remove.
#10. Chives onions
They are a perfect seasoning for numerous dishes. They provide a sharp taste to any recipe and they are particularly great for spicing up soups and salads.
#11. Leek onions
Leeks look like scallions (or green onions), but they’re a lot larger. Their mild flavor and ease of preparation make the vegetable a favorite addition to soups, casseroles, and white meat entrées, as well as a simple side dish when gently sautéed. Leeks are also a good source of dietary fiber.
Storage of Onions
To ensure onions last as long as possible, proper storage is essential. Whole onions are best stored in a cool, dark, dry, and well-ventilated room, whole peeled, sliced, cut, cooked and pickled onions can be refrigerated. Onions can be frozen to further extend their shelf life.
Health Benefits of Onion
Onions contain a variety of other naturally occurring chemicals known as organosulfur compounds that have been linked to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Although rarely used specifically as a medicinal herb, the onion has a wide range of beneficial actions on the body and when eaten (especially raw) regularly will promote the general health of the body.
Onions also have the enzyme alliinase, which is released when an onion is cut or crushed and comes into contact with another enzyme also present in onions, alliin, which is odorless. When these two enzymes combine, they form another compound called allicin, well-known for its health benefit. The characteristic aroma is released what causes eyes to water.