How to select the right onion.

A Guide to Selecting the Right Onion

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Yellow onion vs. sweet onion? Shallot vs. red onion? Don't be confused by all the choices. Use this handy guide to help you make the decision!​

Onions add a lot of flavor to your dishes, but when you go to the grocery store, you are confronted with so many options for onions! Each type of onion has a different flavor profile and texture, but what if your recipe calls for just “onions”? Which kind of onion do you choose and how do you pick an onion at the grocery store? And when you get home, how do you store onions?

Whether you are stir frying, braising, or making a guacamole, this handy guide will help you make the decision! Bookmark it for quick reference!

SWEET ONION
What is sweet onion good for?
Flavor profile of sweet onions

Sweet! Lacking sharpness.

What are sweet onions good for?

Frying.

What are sweet onions used for?

Onion rings, gratins, caramelizing, and roasted with vegetables.

How to pick the right sweet onion at the grocery store

Look for a heavy and firm onion with skin that’s free of bruises.

How to store sweet onions

Keep skin on and keep stored in fridge’s crisper drawer with humidity vent closed. Can also be frozen. Do not store with potatoes.

WHITE ONION
what is white onion good for?
Flavor profile of white onions

Sharp, strong, and pungent.

What are white onions good for?

Adding a crunchy texture and a sharp zing to your dish!

What are white onions used for?

Salsas, stir-fries, and chutneys.

How to chose the right white onion at the grocery store

Look for a heavy and firm onion with thin and papery white skin that’s free of bruises.

How to store white onions

Keep skin on, take out of plastic bag, and store in a dark, dry, cool, and well-ventilated location.

YELLOW ONION
What is yellow onion good for?
Flavor profile of yellow onions

Balance of sharpness and sweetness. Yellow onions will get sweeter the longer you cook them. 

What are yellow onions good for?

Most versatile; all-found cooking onion.

What are yellow onions used for?

Pot roasts, braising, sauces, stews, and soups.

How to pick the right yellow onion at the grocery store

Look for a heavy and firm onion with skin that’s free of bruises.

How to store yellow onions

Keep skin on, take out of plastic bag, and store in a dark, dry, cool, and well-ventilated location.

RED ONION
What is red onion good for?
Flavor profile of red onions

Mild. Red onions will get sweeter the longer you cook them. 

What are red onions good for?

Eating raw.

What are red onions used for?

Guacamole, sandwiches, salads, and pickled onions.

How to chose the right red onion at the grocery store

Look for a heavy and firm onion with vibrant red skin that’s free of bruises.

How to store red onions

Keep skin on, take out of plastic bag, and store in a dark, dry, cool, and well-ventilated location.

SHALLOT
what is shallot good for?
Flavor profile of shallots

Delicate, soft, and subtle.

What are shallots good for?

Applications where you want the onion to blend into the background; not be the star of the show. 

What are shallots used for?

Garnishing, vinaigrettes, and egg casseroles.

How to pick the right shallot at the grocery store

Look for a heavy and firm shallot with vibrant red skin that’s free of bruises. Avoid dried-out shallots, shallots that are sprouting, and shallots with soft spots.

How to store shallots

Keep skin on, take out of plastic bag, and store in a dark, dry, cool, and well-ventilated location.

Did you find this guide handy? Let us know your favorite ways to use onions in the comments below. 

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