Stop Your Crying!
I received this pair of onion goggles for Christmas or my birthday last year and thought they were just one of those gadgets that home cooks had to have but didn't need but I was so wrong. They work and work very well.
Many of you may remember seeing onion goggles being used as a prop on a Modern Family episode where Phil says to Jay, "No more tears when I cook."
Yes, they do look a little silly, especially on me and that's why I asked my oldest daughter to model them for me but I use them all the time now whenever I'm chopping onions or shallots. I only wish they sold them with prescription reading glass lenses.
What Makes You Cry When Cutting Onions?
I did a little research on the Internet and came away more confused than when I started. Amino acid sulfoxides, propanethiol S-oxide, sulfuric acid, highly volatile, allinase enzymes, lachrymal glands and so on. For the most scientific explanation I could find, check out Mental_Floss "where knowledge junkies get their fix."
Basically, when you cut into an onion, cells are ruptured and release a form of sulfur enzyme that wafts toward your eyes. The compounds released are very volatile (quickly enter the air) and get to your eyes fast. Your eyes react to the sulfur gasses and start producing tears to wash away the irritant. That's it in a very simplistic form but I think you get the picture.
How to Keep From Crying
I've learned that to avoid tearing up, you can cut the onion under running water, chill the onion in the refrigerator or freezer first, have a fan standing by to blow the chemicals away from you or get this, "cut fast."
There are also "tear free" onions being developed but I have never seen them in my supermarket nor do I have any idea how they taste. For all I know, they may taste like carrots.
And then there are goggles. My daughter suggested using swim goggles and I'm sure they would work fine. May be a little uncomfortable if you are cutting a lot of onions but for a few minutes work, why not have a pair standing by in the kitchen drawer?
For those wanting to make a fashion statement, I suggest you try these attractive onion goggles available at Amazon. They are somewhat comfortable because of the foam seal that protects your eyes from the irritation vapors. They have anti-fog lenses offering maximum clarity and all members of the family can use them although they may not be a perfect fit for everyone.
There is one review I saw that said exactly what I thought,
Ok, they look ridiculous and my spouse just shakes her head in dismay when I put them on, BUT THEY WORK. I used to have to cut onions in shifts in between bouts of crying. Now it is slice and dice time with nary a sniffle. If you don't mind being the butt of jokes for your friends, grab one.