Onions release a compound called Synpropanthial S-oxide when sliced, which irritates the eyes and makes them water.
However, not all onions are equally pungent. Let’s take a closer look at a few onion varieties that will not make you cry.
16 Types Of Onions That You Can Cut Without Crying
Onions with higher sulfur levels, like yellow and white onions, are very pungent, and cutting them can make you tear up.
Although you can reduce the pungency of these onions by using sharp knives or chilling them before cutting, you can still end up shedding tears.
The easier option is to choose onions that don’t release much sulfur.
Sweet onions fall into this group and are hence gentle on the eyes.
Let’s find out more about these milder onions that won’t hurt your eyes too much.
1. Vidalia Onions
Vidalia onions are one of the sweetest onion varieties in the world.
These onions are named after the town of Vidalia in Georgia and are the official state vegetable of Georgia.
According to Federal guidelines, onions that grow only in selected counties of the state of Georgia can be called Vidalia onions.
Vidalia onions are a variety of yellow Granex onions.
They’re unusually sweet because of the low sulfur content of the soil in the places where they grow.
They also have a high sugar content of nearly 12%, which is higher than most other varieties.
Vidalia onions have a mild flavor and a flat shape. You can eat them raw.
They also caramelize beautifully because of their high sugar content.
2. Supasweet Onions
Supasweet onions are another popular variety of sweet onions with a very low pyruvate level, less than 5.
This onion was one of the first mild and sweet onions available to UK farmers.
They’re widely farmed in Lincolnshire of England and harvested between July and October.
Supasweet onions have brown papery skin. Their insides are fleshy and juicy.
They’re ideally suited for use in summer salads.
Due to their high sugar content, they don’t hold up well in storage.
You should use them up quickly because they spoil rapidly.
3. Walla Walla Onions
Walla Walla sweet onions grow in the federally protected growing areas of the Walla Walla valley and North-eastern Oregon.
These onions aren’t pungent because of their low sulfur content.
They grow in regions with very low sulfur content and end up being sweeter than pungent.
They resemble yellow onions with similar thick skin and a golden-brown color. They’re very crunchy and sweet.
These onions taste great in burgers, salads, and sandwiches.
You can also use them for cooking. They caramelize and produce a beautiful brown color.
4. Walla Walla Sweet Red Onions
The Walla Walla sweet red onion is a newer variety of Walla Walla onion.
It was developed by Michael J Locati, a fourth-generation Walla Walla onion farmer.
This variety tastes like the original yellow Walla Walla onions.
It’s mild and sweet, with a good crunch. However, it has deep red skin and rosy layers of flesh.
The growers say that this variety has the same genetic make-up as yellow Walla Walla onions.
However, the pretty red color is because the seeds used for planting are hand-picked for their rose color.
5. Maui Maui Onions
Maui Maui onions are named after the Hawaiian island of Maui, where this variety grows in abundance.
They have light brown papery skin and translucent white flesh.
Like other sweet onions, Maui Maui onions are sweet because of their low sulfur content.
The rich and fertile volcanic soil of Maui and the warm temperate conditions of their environment also makes them very flavorful onions.
Maui Maui onions are sweet and very juicy.
You can slice them very thinly and use them in salads, burgers, and sandwiches.
Although they’re very juicy, they don’t release much moisture during cooking.
Hence, you can use them as the base for various dishes.
Cooking makes them sweeter, and they taste great with grilled food, in stuffing, and sauces.
6. Sweet Spanish Onions
Yellow Spanish onions aren’t technically sweet onions.
However, they have mild flavors and don’t make you cry when you cut into them.
These onions have a round shape and yellow or white skin. They can grow to a large size.
You can eat them raw because they’re sweet and lack the pungency of other onion varieties.
Due to their delicate flavor, they’re not suited for long cooking.
Sunions are officially-certified tearless onions developed by the BASF through three decades of long research and study.
Interestingly, these onions aren’t genetically modified.
They’re developed by cross-breeding onion varieties with the fewest volatile compounds for generations.
These brown onions are sweet, mild, and crunchy.
You can eat them raw or cook them in various dishes. They lose their pungency the longer they are stored.
You can use Sunions in salads, sandwiches, and burgers.
They’re best eaten raw. However, they’re also suitable for cooking.
8. Red Bermuda Onions
As the name suggests, red Bermuda onions come from the island of Bermuda.
They’re a type of sweet onions and less pungent.
You can easily identify these onions by their flattened shape and red color.
Red Bermuda onions taste sweet and don’t produce tears when cut.
Due to their mild flavor, these onions do well in grilled dishes and salads.
9. Burgundy Onions
Burgundy onions are an heirloom onion variety with smooth, purple-red skin.
You can identify them by their large and flat globular shape.
These onions are white and pink on the inside. They’re very mild and hence easy to slice.
Burgundy onions are crunchy and juicy with mild sweetness.
These onions originated in central Asia, and they have a long growing season.
They hold up well in storage and are good for cooking.
10. Red Italian Onions
Red Italian onions are popular all over the world because they’re very versatile and can be used in any way imaginable.
They’re originally from Italy, hence the name.
These onions have a unique flat shape and are easy to slice. Their flavor is mild and sweet.
They add a beautiful pop of purple color to dishes and are widely used in pizza toppings, gratins, and salads.
11. Cipolla di Tropea Onions
Cipolla di Tropea onions are unique red onions from Italy.
They have a characteristic deep purple color and sweet flesh.
These delicate onions have lovely complex flavors.
They’re bunching onions used widely in cooking.
Since these onions have mild flavors, they’re easy to cut. You can add them to salads in the raw form.
The high sugar content of this variety of onions allows them to caramelize well, and they’re made into marmalades as well as used in various recipes.
12. Pearl Onions
Pearl onions are small white onions, just as big as marbles. They have a mild flavor, and you can eat them raw.
These onions are not as pungent as other varieties and are less likely to make you cry.
You may find it difficult to peel these onions because of their size. Hence, they’re usually used whole.
These onions are commonly used for pickling. They can also be roasted and glazed in stews, soups, and gratins.
Although you will find scallions with herbs in grocery stores and supermarkets, they’re a variety of young onions.
They have a white base and long green stalks. Both the white and green parts of the scallion are edible.
These baby onions are milder than other varieties and are easy to chop. They have a savory bite and are crunchy.
14. Texas Super Sweet Onions
Texas super sweet onions were developed from yellow Bermuda onion seeds.
They were considered exotic onions because of their mild and sweet flavors.
These onions have low sulfur content. Hence, they’re not extremely pungent, and you can eat them raw.
These onions can be used in salads, sandwiches, and burgers.
They’re off-white or yellow and have juicy, soft flesh.
15. Sweet Imperial Onions
Sweet Imperial onions come from California’s Imperial Valley.
They’re widely favored for their sweet flavors and tender texture.
These onions are sweet because the soil they grow in is low in sulfur.
The temperate weather of the region also results in lesser pungency.
Sweet Imperial onions are medium to large, with a flat, rounded shape.
The skin is brown and papery, while the flesh is yellow to white and very juicy and crisp.
16. NuMex Sweet Onions
NuMex sweet onions are trademark-protected onions released by the New Mexico State University breeding program.
They’re yellow onions with mild flavors.
Various sub-varieties of the NuMex variety, like the NuMex Sweetpak and NuMex Arthur, have also been developed.
All varieties have low pungency levels and, depending on the variety, may be harvested between May and August.