Australia's first crop of "tearless onions" is about to hit the market, available exclusively in Woolworths stores across NSW, Victoria and the ACT from July 12. Just as the name implies, the unique onion variety is less likely to make you cry upon cutting.
As a self-defence mechanism, onions release a combination of natural chemicals and enzymes (or "volatile compounds") that can cause some tears and irritation when an onion is damaged or cut. Tearless onions however, contain fewer of these volatile compounds to begin with.
What's more, unlike regular onions, where enzyme levels continue to increase long after harvest, enzyme levels in tearless onions actually begin to drop off after harvest. This means they become easier to chop as they age, rather than more tear-inducing like regular onions.
Happy Chop Tearless Onions were developed over decades using natural methods, including cross-breeding of existing onion varieties.
"We're excited to bring this incredible variety to our customers to take the tears out of meal prep," said Woolworths Supermarkets' General Manager of Fruit & Veg, Paul Turner.
"I've heard all sorts of stories about how people avoid tears when cutting onions — whether that's wearing glasses, freezing onions or wearing a mask. These Happy Chop Tearless Onions stand out as a unique innovation in Australian produce."
Woolies says tearless onions, while being less pungent, retain a great onion flavour, are slightly sweeter than regular brown onions, and can be enjoyed raw or cooked.
Happy Chop Tearless Onions 500g bags are $2.50 at Woolies stores in NSW, Victoria and ACT from July 12 until September 2023, or while stocks last.
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