We love cooking with onions, but we hate chopping them up — and we’re far from alone. That is because onions produce a chemical irritant when cut, which stimulates the eyes’ lachrymal glands to make you cry. You won’t have to suffer for much longer, though.
The “Sunion,” a new type of onion created by nutrition company Bayer, promises to end countless agonizing cooking sessions by no longer bringing large numbers of knife-wielding chefs to tears. Thirty years in the making, the breakthrough vegetable wasn’t created using any cutting edge (and therefore controversial) genetic modification, but rather the old-fashioned method of cross-breeding to eradicate the volatile compounds that are responsible for tearing.
Best of all? Unlike a lot of the research we cover, this isn’t some promising bit of research and development that may land on shelves years, or even decades, from now — but rather produce that will be available for sale at a store near you as soon as next month.
“Sunions are a breakthrough product and a game-changer in the kitchen thanks to their unique tearless quality,” Lyndon Johnson, senior crop sales manager at Bayer, told Digital Trends. “They are sweet with a great crunch and consistently delicious. Unlike other onions that become more pungent over time, Sunions become sweeter every day. Once harvested, Sunions are stored and consistently tested to establish when they will be ready to ship. Unlike any other onion variety, a sensory panel with full authority and power to determine ship dates follows a tightly-controlled protocol that includes both flavor and tearlessness.”
Johnson explained that this is the Sunion’s first season, with the initial crop appearing in mid-December. At present, they are being grown only in Nevada and Washington, although this could expand in future as they become more popular. Johnson suggests that they will be available for sale across the United States in March or early April. “We see the market growing nationwide in upcoming seasons and plan to ship around five million boxes of Sunions in five years,” he said.
It’s almost worth shedding tears of joy. Soon we will be able to put away the onion-slicing goggles for the last time!