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.