Did that recipe say white onion or red onion? Will it matter if you just buy the sweet onions that are on sale? The answer should come as no surprise. Different types of onions are good for different types of foods. Here's a quick look at how to choose.
While you're free to experiment and follow your own taste buds, it does help to know the basics. The good folks at WonderHowTo give us a quick look at what types of onions are good for different preparations.
- Yellow and Brown onions have a sharp taste when raw, but they smooth out nicely when cooked. They're a great choice for almost any dish calling for onions. They also stand up to long cooking times, so they're great in soups and stews. When in doubt, grab one of these.
- White onions are stronger than yellow onions and much crispier due to a higher water content. That, plus their texture, makes them great for Mexican dishes or anywhere you might want that sharp, raw onion taste.
- Sweet onions are pretty mellow when raw, making them really good for preparations like salads or sandwiches, where you may not want the sharpness of some onions. They are also perfect for caramelising and for dishes that feature onion as a primary flavour.
- Red onions have a mild, peppery flavour and are great for raw onion dishes where you want something not so sweet as a sweet onion. Red onions are great for sandwiches and salads that are full of strong flavours.
- Green Onions have a mild flavour. The white ends are useful in almost any onion dish and are best cooked. The green ends are mild and are great raw. You can use them as a garnish for soups and salads.
- Shallots are very mild and sweet. Use them in any recipe where you don't want an overpowering onion flavour. They're good raw or cooked.
Be sure to check out the post at WonderHowTo for more advice on onions.