You can now get "tearless onions" in the UK 7 months ago

You can now get "tearless onions" in the UK

This changes everything.

There are very few recipes that cannot be improved by the addition of the onion.


Chillis, curries, soups - white and red onions are the staple of almost every dish. Having said that, as delicious as they are, chopping them isn't always a seamless process.

Indeed, the second my knife goes on, the tears come out, as the vegetable's vapours cause my eyes to water mercilessly. Some cooks place a glass of water next to their chopping board and hope that it absorbs some of the vapours, while others wear goggles to protect their eyes.

However, one plant breeder appears to have devised a possible solution to onion-triggered crying.

RTÉ reports that Rick Watson, who works for the Germany chemical company BASF, has bred a "tearless onion" which will shortly go on sale in the UK.


Watson's "Sunion" is the result of over 30 years of plant breeding as opposed to genetic modification. Since the 1980s, he bred less pungent varieties of onion with milder vapours, ensuring that the cook isn't brought to tears.

Explaining their appeal, Sunions' website says: "Volatile compounds in onions are responsible for tearing and pungent flavour and the amounts of those compounds in other onions remain the same or increase over time.

"In Sunions, these compounds do the exact opposite and decrease to create a tearless, sweet and mild onion."

Sunions have been on sale in the US for almost four years, but they are expected to hit the shelves of Waitrose next week.


They'll retail for £1.50, which is 30p more than standard tear-inducing onions.

As promising as they sound, reviews of the product so far seem to suggest that their tearlessness may come at the expense of that classic oniony flavour.

For instance, a 2018 review by the Washington Post said that they were "sweet enough that you could sit there and eat them like popcorn".