If an onion DOES NOT make you cry does that mean it's not fresh?

Does the activity in the onion that activates tear ducts have anything to do with freshness of an onion? Why are some super strong with the chemical and others are not?

  • Posted by: Pilar
  • September 13, 2019


boulangere September 16, 2019
I remember reading many years ago that if onions are refrigerated, they think they are going into winter, and therefor will not release the gases that turn into sulfuric acid upon contact with one's mucous membranes which causes tearing. True or not,I have no idea. I also have friends who wear contact lenses who insist that they prevent tearing when chopping onions. Whatever, onions make me drip like a faucet no matter what.
Kristen W. September 16, 2019
Nah, based on experience I don’t think so - I get very fresh onions from my CSA box and they don’t particularly make me cry. I have a vague recollection of hearing that the way the onion is cut influences this but I don’t actually know if that’s true. Maybe someone else does?
Pilar September 16, 2019
I did a little research- according to the onion growers association it's the variety, not the freshness. Some cause that more than others.
Miss_Karen September 13, 2019
I don't know for sure about fresher making you cry or not, but I never cry when chopping/ slicing onions. It's a trick I learned a zillion years ago.
Recommended by Food52