Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
May 31, 2013 09:01 AM

Layerless Onion- Possible?

Long time lurker. First time poster.

Anyway, to answer my own question, yes, I think it is. The other day I was cutting onions and I noticed that one onion looked very strange in that it was really just a solid mass with no layers at all. If it matters, it was a medium-sized red onion. Didn't taste it but it onion. I tried attaching a photo. Not sure if it worked.*

I've never seen this before so I tried to google it, but after searching for "layerless onion," "onion with no layers," "unripe onion," "solid mass of onion," and "why doesn't my onion have layers?," I came away with nothing. All I found out was that the is a National Onion Association and their website didn't answer my question.

So, maybe I am asking a silly question, but why did this happen to my onion? Is it "unripe"? Did I come across some type of rarity (that is now in my dumpster)? Is is safe to eat (I didn't)? And would it have tasted like a regular onion?

*In the photo it looks like the onion might have some layers, but trust me, it didn't. What looked like they could be layers were entirely fused together.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. in the picture, it indeed does look like layers. even stripes of different colors? you also cut in the non-conventional way, so it may look dissimilar to what you are used to seeing.

    3 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      It looks like it has some layers but it truly did not. They were totally fused together. I tried cutting it in some different ways and it sort of reminded me of diced apple at the end.

      Also it was clear as soon as I cut the head off the onion that it was not a regular onion.

      1. re: hotoynoodle

        Also, what is the conventional wait to cut an onion? I cut off the top (the sprouty part- not sure if it has a more official name and the bottom off. Then I rested it on the cut off bottom and and cut in half. Like how the yellow onion below is attached (as opposed to the other picture). Then I rolled it on its back to try to figure out what I was working with.

        Ok gotta get back to work now. I've spent too much time googling "onion cut in half".

        1. re: layerlessonion

          Assuming you mean "way" to cut an onion: either pole to pole, or across the equator. Cutting crosswise gives you rings that will soften more completely. If you keep cooking them they will eventually cook down into mush. Pole to pole - meaning stem end to root end - slices hold their shape longer when cooked. How you slice/chop/dice depends on your purpose. A good tip for chopping an onion sliced in half pole-wise is to peel back the skin but leave it attached at the root end. You can then gather the skin in your non-knife hand and hold it down to anchor the onion to the cutting board as you slice or dice. If you are worried about cutting yourself, this provides an extra margin of safety.

      2. I would love to have battered and fried whole slices of that onion! Onion rings never have enough onion for me. Onion discs!

        1. Reminds me of an article I once saw on The Onion... Get it?

          1. If it's a really, really fresh onion, the layers are plump and stick together.

            But they're still layers.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sunshine842

              Interesting. The layers were so stuck together that even when I diced them smaller they would not come apart. I live pretty far away from anything I would call fresh but who knows.