Beginnings Of Marinara Sauce-Onion Caramelization
What is it about an onion that runs so deep? The odor of caramelized onions whisks me back to nonna’s (grandmother in Italian) kitchen where everything was made from scratch. She started with a base of onions, then carrots, celery and garlic in olive oil. She would add plum tomatoes, some tomato sauce and a bit of dry seasoning. It would simmer on the stove for hours. Later in the day, homemade red wine and fresh herbs were added to complete her marinara sauce. All those memories made possible by the initiation of that caramelized onion base.
We go to the supermarket and usually only see four varieties. The drop-dead gorgeous red, the yellow, the white and the sweet onion all set up beautifully in display bins ready for purchase.
Purple Orbs Of Deliciousness
Red onions are also known as purple onions. Their color is from water-soluble pigments called anthocyanins, which are antioxidants. With heat, the color becomes diluted although the onions may impart a slight purplish tinge to foods. That heightens the visuals for soups, stews and steaks. Their color compliments an added red wine for richness to the dish. Small amounts highlight a salad.
Nonna Used To Make Marinara
Yellow onions, also called Spanish onions are very high in sulfur. This is the chemical that makes you so emotional when cutting onions the wrong way. Take a look at my 1/25/13 post to see how to eliminate tears when cutting onions. Spanish onions are the standard onion for most recipes. They have the most intense flavor and are most popular onion on the market.
Mr. Albino Is So Wet-High Spoil Factor
White onions are the wettest onion of the group. The flavor is cleaner than the yellow onion. One disadvantage is that it spoils the fastest. It’s widely used in Spanish cooking because of its tangy flavor. These onions are great for pizza and excellent within a salad.
OsoSweets-15% Sugar Content-South America
Sweet onions have a very mild taste. These onions are so fragile because they have thinner skins that easily damage. The most popular variety is Vidalia from Georgia. Other sweet onion types are the Walla Walla from Washington, the Maui from Hawaii, Bermuda onion from Bermuda, SpringSweets from Texas, OsoSweets from South America and the Sweet Imperial from California. With theses onions, you never shed a tear because they have very little sulfur in their makeup. OsoSweets is the sweetest variety with up to 15% sugar content. The others have on an average about 5% sugar. The reason for this sweetness is the low sulfur in the soil. The sweet onion has a very high water content diluting any small amounts of sulfur that may be in the vegetable. You can just bite into a very fresh OsoSweets and eat it like a piece of fruit. Sweet onions are amazing pizza toppings.
What are the health benefits of eating onions? There is a substance in onions called quercetin. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and cancer quenching abilities. Onions also possess allicin, which has blood pressure reducing effects as well as increasing cardiovascular health. The vegetable is also high in the mineral chromium. Chromium is involved in blood sugar control that is important for Type 2 diabetes. In addition, even with the higher sugar content of some onions like OsoSweets, onion with olive oil has a low glycemic index. The lowest is red onions.
Prevent This Situation
Fascinating Fact About Onion and Car Windshields
To stop your car windshield from frosting over during the night, slice an onion and rub the glass with the onion. It prevents the interlocking of ice crystals therefore no ice.
1. When purchasing, onions should be heavy for their size with no soft spots or surface bruises. Avoid sprouting onions.
2. Fresh onions should last for 4-6 weeks.
3. Store away from potatoes because they will absorb water.
4. Sweet onions are the most fragile onions because they are the highest in water content and sugar. In addition, their skin is unusually thin. They are usually the highest priced so just purchase what you need and never buy them bagged.
5. Once onions are cut, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
6. Use a sharp knife otherwise you destroy the cells and mash the onion. Make sure the cutting board is secured with a damp kitchen towel underneath it to prevent sliding. Watch the white onions, they can slide all over the place because of their high moisture content.
Two Very Different Opinions About Chocolate Onions. 🙂
There is a company called Mueller’s Chocolates in Philadelphia, PA that sells chocolate covered onions. The onions are either covered in white or milk chocolate. Would like to try it with a OsoSweets variety dipped in dark chocolate. That may actually taste pretty good.