Do All Onions Make People Cry?

Developed through cross-breeding, Sunions are sweet, non-GMO onions that won't make you tear up when you cut them.
Developed through cross-breeding, Sunions are sweet, non-GMO onions that won't make you tear up when you cut them.

There are two onion seasons in the United States. For nine months of the year, grocery stores sell onions that have been stored after being harvested. In the summer, there’s a three-month window when fresh onions hit grocery store shelves. Fresh onions are sweeter than those that have been sitting around in storage.

However, there's a significant exception: the Sunion, an onion that gets milder and sweeter the longer it's stored. And if that’s not enough to entice onion lovers, here’s the kicker: The Sunion won’t make you cry when you cut it up. This new type of onion was developed over 24 years at a cost of $5 million USD -- through cross-breeding, not genetic modification.

Enter the Sunion:

  • When you cut into traditional onions, enzymes and sulfenic acid are released into the air -- specifically, propanethial S-oxide, which turns into sulfuric acid when it reaches the water layer protecting the eye. When this lachrymatory agent is detected, the eye generates tears to flush it out.

  • According to marketing materials, cooking with Sunions is an entirely new experience: “From the time you cut it, you don’t have that irritation and burning in your nose, or that smell on your hands.”

  • Sunions are currently grown in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Nevada.

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    • Developed through cross-breeding, Sunions are sweet, non-GMO onions that won't make you tear up when you cut them.
      Developed through cross-breeding, Sunions are sweet, non-GMO onions that won't make you tear up when you cut them.