People have been cultivating and eating several types of onions for thousands of years. They are an essential ingredient in most cooking around the world and that includes French cuisine. In France they are cultivated mostly in the eastern part of the country although they are also grown in Brittany and in the north.
Types of Onions
Onions can be categorized by their color and by when they are harvested.
In France, green onions are sold in bunches in the springtime. They are bigger than scallions which you may be more familiar with. They are good chopped and served raw on top of soups, salads, and other dishes.
Dried onions can be white, yellow or red. They are harvested once the onion top has turned brown and withered. After they are dried, white and yellow onions can last a long time. They are good in all sorts of recipes calling for cooked onions.
Red onions do not keep as long. They are good in salads and great on the barbecue. They tend to lose some flavor when cooked.
Onion Health Benefits
All the types of Onions are said to have health benefits including lowering high cholesterol levels and blood pressure. That makes them good for reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Eating onions has also been linked with a decrease in risk for colon cancer and can help control blood sugar levels. You get the idea - these things are good for you.
Keep your onions in a cool dark place open to the air. I have a basket on my pantry shelf at all times. They can keep for a long time. Don't put them in your refrigerator or everything will smell like onions. Green onions should be kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Why do they make you cry?
When you cut an onion sulfurous elements are released. This is what makes your eyes water. You might like to try my Mom's trick - she wears ski goggles when cutting onions. Not only is this effective, it's a good laugh!