Those of us who have ever chopped an onion in their life know it’s a teary job. Even those of us who haven’t, are aware of it too. There really isn’t anything you can do to prevent teary eyes except wearing goggles. That is about to change as the Sunion makes its way to the market.
The Sunion is a new vegetable resulting from a natural cross-breeding program that has been going on since the 80s on farms in Nevada and Washington. It is supposed to be a sweet and mild-tasting onion that doesn’t leave the pungent aftertaste onions are known for. More importantly, it does not cause your eyes to water.
Cutting open a normal onion releases a compound called lachrymatory-factor synthase. This volatile compound is the culprit behind the irritation caused in our eyes. Normally, the amount of this compound increases with the duration of time of the storage of onion. Sunion operates in the reverse fashion. The amount of the compound decreases with time until the point where it has no effect on our eyes.
These claims by the Sunion growers are confirmed by the users that have tried them. Reporters from the Huffington Post chopped some of these new onions and never shed a tear. Washington Post claims that they don’t have the pungency of normal onions and you can even eat them “like popcorn.”
The tearless onions are finally a reality and they are not genetically altered in any way, which seems to put off some consumers. There is, however, a catch. These onions are currently only grown in Washington and Nevada. They are sold all across the US but they have a short supply.
“Sunions growers are currently working diligently with stores and supermarkets across the country to find the best locations to offer this groundbreaking product,” a spokesperson for the growers said. So, we might expect them to turn up in most grocery stores soon.