Food - Drink
Why Are Red Onions Purple?
From scallions to chives to Vidalias, alliums in the onion family bring essential flavor to soups, stocks, and countless other dishes. Red onions are known for their intense burn that makes them popular in burgers and sandwiches, and these beauties have an intensely purple hue that is quite different from other onions.
The purplish hue found in red onions is produced by anthocyanins and flavonoids, two antioxidants that are not only prettily pigmented, but also healthy, since they neutralize free radicals in the body. Other purple foods, such as purple grapes, blackcurrants, and eggplant, are also rich in these two pigments.
Red onions are usually quite purple, but they may have earned their name because their skins were historically used to produce a red dye. These onions also vary widely in color, depending on the exact breed and growing conditions, so some red onions actually do look much more red than other varieties.