Onion - How To Use

(In dry format is known as Onion Flakes, Onion Powder)


Strong, tangy, and loaded with umami flavour, the onion is a distinct staple, to our diets, and there are 21 varieties! A member of the Amaryllidaceae family, this aromatic vegetable sits among garlic, shallots, leeks and the like. Onions as a staple date back to prehistoric diets, which originated in the Iran and Pakistan region. Onion flakes and powder are popular for salad dressings, soups and meat rubs. 

What flavours go with onion?

  • Beetroot
  • Bell Pepper
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Clove
  • Cucumber
  • Garlic
  • Mint
  • Mushroom
  • Nutmeg
  • Orange
  • Pea
  • Potato
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Tomato

Dehydrated Onion powder is much more concentrated than fresh onion. For this reason, you should be careful when using it as a single spice in a recipe. (You would need 20% of the powder form in ratio comparison to a fresh onion. It is a good demonstration of how it takes a lot of time to develop a blend with onion powder in its formula.  That being said, it is incredibly common in cuisines around the world.  Our herbaceous and pungent 13th-century blend Baqa is full of flavours like garlicrosemary and thyme making the best cheese toastie

Health Benefits

Onion powder is low in calories but high in nutrients and vitamins. It is a great source of potassium, magnesium and calcium. It is considered great for blood pressure regulation and bone and immune health. 

Interesting Facts

  • The Cretans and the Greeks hang onions on New Year's Eve doors to signify rebirth and regrowth. Because the onion can continue to grow after it has been uprooted, the locals believe that some of the plants' good luck and resilience should rub off on them. On New Year’s Day, you may get hit on the head with an onion to get you up for church. Now we know that onions might make you cry for two reasons.
  • The Egyptians believed that onions would give you eternal life because of the circles within a circle. The pharaoh Ramses IV was buried with onions in his eye sockets. Various Egyptian tombs with mummies have been found with remnants of onions. The Pyramids have displayed still-life paintings with onions on altars depicting their offerings to the Gods.
  • The Indians are known to have worshipped onions as early as the 6th Century, as a cure for digestion, heart, eyes and joints.
  • The ancient Greeks used them as a symbol of strength - they would eat them, drink onion juice and rub themselves in onions. 
  • During the Middle Ages, the Europeans used onions as wedding gifts and as payments for rent.
  • Native Americans would have a trio of uses for onions. A poultice, a dye, and even a toy.
  • Although it is considered a stereotype, the French wearing onions rose to the conversation with British caricature depictions. But there is some variety in these stereotypes as French nationals have been known to wear berets and onions between the 1800 and mid-1900 period as they cycled around their regions.
Chief flavour profile

Allicin: (sulphurous, spicy and hot) The onion smell comes from the sulphur flavour compounds. 

Why do onions make you cry?

When the onion gets damaged or chopped it releases the alliinase enzyme, which is part of the aroma compound. Onion flavours can be complex because of the variety and the sulphur content of the soil they grew in giving different levels of intensity. The allicin compound of onions complements chilli and asafoetida.

Blends to try with Onion

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