Lots of great recipes require onions, so sadly, there’s no getting around it — the tears, the stuffy nose, the smelly hands. But after years of kitchen struggles and decades of work, scientists have finally figured out a solution to take away at least one of our complaints.
Enter: The Sunion. They taste just like regular onions with a sweet and crunchy snap, but unlike other store-bought onions, Sunions won’t make you weep. They were created through natural cross-breeding over more than 30 years rather than using genetic modifications.
When you cut into an ordinary onion, a volatile compound called lachrymatory-factor synthase is released. When this gas hits your eyes, you body produces tears in attempt to reduce the irritation, which is why you appear to cry. Sunions have been bred to have decreasing amounts of this compound, resulting in an onion that doesn’t release tear-causing gas when sliced and diced.
Sunions made their debut back in October at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in New Orleans, but now with their release this month, folks outside the produce circles are starting to find out about the new veggie.
According to the Sunion press release, consumer tests called it the “best onions I’ve ever had.” In trial tests, people pre-disposed to tearing up when cutting onions preferred the new tearless onion five to one, and were significantly less irritated by it.
Sunions are being grown in Nevada and Washington. The first crop will appear in stores at the end of December until March or April. Exact locations haven’t been determined, but they will be available nationwide, so keep your eyes peeled at produce shops near you.
Also see, learn to make slow cooker caramelized onions.