The origin of off-taste in onions

Chopping onions is usually associated with watery and stinging eyes. But after the onions are diced and the tears are dried, the vegetable pieces can sometimes develop an unpleasant bitter taste. Now, one group reports in ...

Why onions make us cry (and why some don't)

Mark Anthony in Shakespeare's Cleopatra may have referred to "the tears that live in the onion". But why do onions actually make us cry? And why do only some onions make us blub in this way when others, including related ...

The nitty-gritty behind how onions make you cry

Adding onions to a recipe can make a meal taste rich and savory, but cutting up the onion can be brutal.  Onions release a compound called lachrymatory factor (LF), which makes the eyes sting and water. Scientists know that ...

Video: Why do onions make you cry?

Common in cuisine all around the globe, onions are renowned for their ability to make us all look like cry babies. In Reactions' latest video, we get to the bottom of this teary phenomenon and reveal exactly what chemical ...

Not a hoax: Univision buys stake in 'Onion'

Aiming to use humor to boost its audience, US broadcasting group Univision said Tuesday it was acquiring a stake in the satirical news group The Onion.

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Onion

The onion (Allium cepa), also known as the bulb onion, common onion and garden onion,[citation needed] is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. The genus Allium also contains a number of other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion (A. fistulosum), Egyptian onion (A. ×proliferum), and Canada onion (A. canadense). The name "wild onion" is applied to a number of Allium species.

The vast majority of cultivars of A. cepa belong to the 'common onion group' (A. cepa var. cepa) and are usually referred to simply as 'onions'. The 'Aggregatum group' of cultivars (A. cepa var. aggregatum) includes both shallots and potato onions.

Allium cepa is known only in cultivation, but related wild species occur in Central Asia. The most closely related species include Allium vavilovii (Popov & Vved.) and Allium asarense (R.M. Fritsch & Matin) from Iran. However, Zohary and Hopf warn that "there are doubts whether the A. vavilovii collections tested represent genuine wild material or only feral derivatives of the crop."

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