Common onions are normally available in three colors: yellow, red, and white. Yellow onions, also called brown onions, are full-flavored and are a reliable standby for cooking almost anything. Yellow onions turn a rich, dark brown when cooked and give French onion soup its tangy sweet flavor. The red onion is a good choice for fresh uses or in grilling and char-broiling. White onions are the traditional onion used in classic Mexican cuisine. They have a golden color and sweet flavor when sautÃ©ed.
While the large mature onion bulb is the onion most often eaten, onions can be eaten at immature stages. Young plants may be harvested before bulbing occurs and used whole as scallions. When an onion is harvested after bulbing has begun but the onion is not yet mature, the plants are sometimes referred to as summer onions. Onions may be bred and grown to mature at smaller sizes. Depending on the mature size and the purpose for which the onion is used, these may be referred to as pearl or boiler onions.
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