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white onion versus yellow onion

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  • hto44 Feb 26, 2011 11:11 AM
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What is the difference....is one sweeter (and I mean regular yellow onion, not vidalia). Which would be more appropriate for fresh salsa? Thanks!

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  1. Rick Bayless uses white onion almost exclusively in his Mexican dishes. He feels the white onion has a more subtle flavor than the yellow. I've started doing that and find that I agree with him.

    1 Reply
    1. re: escondido123

      Thanks! I was leaning towards white.

    2. White and yellow onions share a similar shape, but that's as far as it goes. White onions have a sharp flavor that is clean and sweeter than yellow onion. White onions are more moist than yellow onions, which makes them firmer than their yellow cousin. They are good in their raw form but they actually improve in flavor when included as a cooked ingredient; hence they work very well in Mexican dishes and they are mild enough in raw form to make them perfect for salsa, etc.
      Yellow onions are stronger (more pungent) than white onions and they have a very high sulphur content which makes them more likely to produce teary eyes when preparing as an ingredient in cooked foods. Because they are strong they are less popular in their raw form (although my preference for strong onion flavor means I actually prefer them raw) but this is an advantage when you want a stronger onion flavor in recipes that seek to emphasize onion flavor. They caramelize beautifully (better than white onions).

      1 Reply
      1. re: todao

        Thank you Todao for all the great info! I love carmelized onions and usually use vidalia for that.

        I made the fresh salsa last night (got the recipe from the Pioneer Woman) and used the white onion and it was so delicious.