Slicing an onion

An email came in earlier today contesting my assertion that slicing an onion from pole-to-pole versus cross-wise results in any fewer irritant-dispersing cross-cuts of the onion flesh. I’m no expert on onion anatomy, but I was taught that cutting the onion from top to bottom, then slicing inward toward the center, yields a milder tasting onion, and makes you cry less to boot. I dunno, maybe it’s all in my head, though I’ll tell you that at the very least this technique gives you slices that are a whole lot prettier.

Since I’m light on business today, I decided to take some pictures of this type of slicing (which probably has a name…help me you formally trained chefs out there) instead of trying to explain it. Thanks to our nanny, Cindy, for being my photographer. I can’t tell you how difficult it is trying to slice onions and snap pictures at the same time.

So then, start by slicing off the very ends of the onion and peeling it.

Slice it in half from end to end.

Lay one half on the board, flat side down, with the cut ends pointing at and away from you. Then begin slicing the onion toward the center, radially, first at a shallow angle…

…then at increasingly steep angles until you get to the top.

Remove the very center of the onion, you might see a little green shoot in there, just pitch it (it doesn’t taste great, and can also be hard on the digestion).

Flip the onion over with you finger…

…and repeat the radial slicing process. Easy as pie, no?

What’s the irony here? It’s that I’m going to chop my onions for my Alsatian onion tart. I told you I didn’t have much to do today.

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