The Reason You Shouldn't Cut Off The Root When Chopping Onions

Onions are a go-to aromatic that you probably keep in your pantry for whenever you want to whip up a pot of your favorite pasta sauce or add a little flavor to your chicken tortilla soup. Red, yellow, or white onions can enhance the flavor of your dishes. The Kitchn calls this vegetable "the bedrock" of cooking — the foundation of flavor that brings its pungent taste and smell to our family recipes. They are an essential part of our culinary experience. According to Onions-USA, onions have been a part of the human diet for over 5,000 years. They were even used in art, medicine, and mummification.

Onions are a versatile veggie for sure. As Southern Cravings points out, onions are one of the few foods that can be cooked in multiple ways. Each method brings out a unique characteristic of this root vegetable. But before you can eat them raw, caramelize, grill, sautee, or even roast your onions. Of course, you'll have to slice, dice, and chop them up. But while you're busy showing off your knife skills, you might want to skip cutting off the root. Thanks to Gordon Ramsay, we know why.

It will keep the tears at bay

Gordon Ramsay is handing out cooking tips for beginners, and according to the Iron Chef, you shouldn't cut an onion's hairy-looking root because it will help stave off the waterworks if kept intact. That's right. Cutting around the root can save you a lot of tears. Ramsay explained in a video demonstration that if you don't leave the root on the onion as you are chopping it, it will "bleed," and that's when the weeping begins. agrees with Ramsay, revealing that keeping the root attached to the onion is mission-critical because it contains sulfur elements that release once it is cut away. And while there are lots of hacks to help minimize the tears, like placing your onion in ice water before you take a knife to it, the best and most efficient way is to avoid cutting the root.

Ramsay's tutorial walks you through the best way to go about this. First, slice an onion in half. Next, with the tip of the knife pointed toward the root, cut lengthwise. He explains you want to get as close to the root as possible without chopping it off as he makes a series of incisions. The video is mesmerizing, and if you are looking to polish up your chopping skills, it's worth a watch.