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THE TIP

The Difference Between White, Yellow, Red, and Sweet Onions

Onions are the most humble of ingredients and also one of the most widely used because they’re inexpensive and versatile. Recipes often call for a specific type of onion so what’s the difference between the different kinds?

  • Yellow onions are our all purpose, go-to onion because they have a good balance of flavors and get sweeter when cooked.

  • Sweet onions are yellow in color but have very little astringent, sharp flavor. They have a naturally sweet flavor and are great for using raw.

  • Red onions are actually purple  and our favorite for raw preparations because of their beautiful color and mild flavor with just the right amount of bite.

  • White onions have a thinner, paper-like skin and a slightly more astringent flavor to yellow onions. They can be cooked but don’t get as sweet.

Make sure to pay attention to what type of onion the recipe calls for because, as you can see, different types will yield different results. And remember, when onions are stored in a cool, dark place, they’ll last for weeks so save some bucks by buying a bag next time you’re at the store.

  • somesome11

    That’s weird, I vastly prefer white over yellow; white onion also gets nicely sweet, perfectly caramalized when cooked, and when used raw provide a nice contrast for items such as burgers.