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You Can French Us After Eating This New Non-Stinky Onion

The Asda Sweet Red—a tear-free, breath-friendly onion variety—has been unveiled in the UK, so you can mince and make out to your heart's content.
Hilary Pollack
Los Angeles, US

Onions: love you like a sister (an edible, many-layered, vegetative sister), hate the way that your fumes cling to our breath and fingernails with frightening tenacity. A generous swath of lightly caramelized onions betters so many dishes, and yet the aftermath of said dish's consumption is furrowed brows and recoils from anyone you try to close-talk or snog.

Worse still is the issue of trying to cut up a nice, big, crisp, globular onion, for most people find themselves weeping uncontrollably due to the noxious flavor-air that rises out of their minced Vidalias and up into their tear ducts and sinuses. This has resulted in the invention of "Onion Goggles" and other Skymall-ready creations aimed at remedying this (perhaps) minor but pervasive problem. We've simply accepted that onions put up a bit of a fight and tried to work our way around their stinky defenses.

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Well—until now. For those squeamish about Eau de Onion, there's now a solution in the UK. Starting this weekend, Walmart-owned supermarket chain Asda now carries the Asda Sweet Red, an entirely new, specially bred variety of onion that has "lower pungency" than the kinds you're used to sobbing over dinner prep after dinner prep.

The Asda Sweet Red took more than 20 years for horticulturist Alastair Findlay to develop. Findlay—who is also the British Onions Research & Development Committee Chairman—analyzed and personally tasted hundreds of onion bulbs every season in order to perfect the new breed, which is milder, juicier, and crunchier than its predecessors and boasts a far lower tear count as well as a better "aroma on the breath," shall we say. The onions will sell for £1 each at Asda stores, starting this week.

Asda's vegetable buyer, Andy Wareham, tells Scotland's Herald that prior to the 1990s, red onions weren't grown in the UK at all. But they've grown immensely in popularity in the past two decades and now account for 20 percent of all the UK's onions. "We're incredibly proud to have worked and supported Alastair on his journey," he commented. "Introducing the UK's very first sweet red onion is a fantastic achievement … Like the USA, the UK has a sweeter palate than most, so [we] will appreciate the same tangy flavour without the strong acidity of some onions."

The Telegraph swiftly put the new onion to the test, pitting it against a standard onion in a chopping scenario. Writer Olivia Goldhill reported that, "It still smelled like an onion and wasn't as soft on my eyes as, say, cucumber eye cream, but I didn't feel my eyes sting after chopping an entire low-pungency onion."

Supposedly, you can even bite into the onion like an apple—though that doesn't mean you should. But if the Sweet Reds make it to the States, expect Bloomin' Onions to dramatically upgrade in the rank of first-date appetizers.

And stay away from our precious garlic. It wouldn't be the same without the stink.