Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Oct 17, 2011 01:17 PM

Can't remember the last time I cried chopping onion

Really. Maybe it's *years*.

Have they hybridized onions to cut back on the irritating gas? Is it because I tend to keep them in the fridge? Is it because I prefer the sweeter, fleshier varieties? Is it because I have better, sharper knives? Or can people develop an immunity?

Whatever it is I'm grateful.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Did you start wearing contact lenses by any chance? I always forget about the tears, then when I'm not wearing them on a weekend, whoa!

    5 Replies
      1. re: coll

        Nope. No contacts. No gadgets. No special techniques. Just stopped tearing up.

        1. re: coll

          same here. contacts are definitely a savior for onion chopping! protect those corneal nerves, no tears!

          1. re: mattstolz

            This is so absolutely true! I wear a contact in one eye and leave the other without (just easier for reading) and one eye tears up and the other doesn't.

          2. re: coll

            This was an "aha!" moment for me. I never had a problem chopping onions, and then about a year ago they really started bothering me. I thought I was getting weak in my old age ;) (Just turned 30). But it has to be that I stopped wearing contacts. Thanks!

          3. Putting them in the fridge definitely keeps the tears down. You can also develop an immunity. Yellow onions don't get me anymore, but red onions? Fire up the waterworks!

            2 Replies
            1. re: jzerocsk

              Putting whole onions, of any type of size, in the freezer for 5-10 mins will def. end the tear production. I don't wear glasses or contacts but always tear up...the freezer removes the irritation.

              1. re: HillJ

                Awesome tip! I don't like to store them in the fridge, so the freezer idea is perfect.

            2. I'm also wondering about contacts. I thought I never cried while chopping onions and made fun of my husband for being a wimp (all in good fun). Then I had my glasses on one day, started chopping and finally realized the connection.

              1. I second the fridge... also the sweeter variety.

                1. I wear contacts and have done for 30 years, but I know I'm not immune to the power of the onion. I don't cry. I sneeze. Every time. It's really annoying. And grinding black pepper makes me cry. I must have crossed pipes or something.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Isolda

                    Yes I completely cover my eyes too, but the fumes go up my nose and affect me in much the same way.

                    1. re: Isolda

                      You're right, I notice I sometimes sneeze instead when I wear contacts. Guess the fumes go up your nose instead.