Why do onions make you cry when chopping?
When you chop an onion, it releases an acid that becomes airborne. If this reaches your eyes, it makes them water.
For more information, check out Chemistry.About.com.
The recipe calls for 2lbs of onions. That's a lot. This should really test out some of those tips.
Here's a list of tips/myths/helpful advice that I collated prior to chopping:
- Wear goggles
- Whistle whilst chopping
- Light a candle
- Hold a spoon in your mouth
- Hold a spent match between your teeth
- Cut under a large piece of cling film
- Cut in half put flat side down and slice around
- Peel/chop under water Not advised - could be quite dangerous!!)
- Soak the onion in water/salt water
- Vinegar the chopping board
- Use chilled onions or place onions in freezer for 5 minutes before chopping
- Use a very sharp knife (this is supposed to disturb the cells less)
- Put the extractor fan on
- Chew gum whilst chopping
- Get someone else to chop them for you!
- Watch Beaches beforehand so no tears left...
Thanks to Anna for some helpful tips and Paul for some not quite so helpful ones!!)
Even though I was at home with only my sleeping toddler for company, I still thought I'd feel pretty silly whistling or wearing goggles whilst chopping the onions so I decided to go for the candle option. I also made sure I kept at arms length when chopping the onions so that my head wasn't directly over the chopping board. My knives are quite sharp and I'm fairly good at chopping. I'm pleased to report that not one tear formed in my eyes!
Back to the recipe then...
Once all the onions are chopped, fry them in 1/2 cup olive oil until translucent.
Then add the sugar, balsamic vinegar and stock (I used veg stock to make mine vegetarian friendly). Cook for about 30 minutes until the onions have caramelised then add salt to taste.
I could hardly wait until it was cooked. It smelt amazing! Worth the wait though. Very delish and even my nearly-two-year-old loved it!
Link to the recipe I followed.