Difference Between White Onions and Yellow Onions

Key Difference: White onions have a white or off-white color, compared to yellow onions that have either a yellow, golden or brown color. White onions have low sulfur content and are mild in flavor and smell, while yellow onions have a higher sulfur content making it stronger in flavor and smell. White onions have a higher water content compared to yellow onions.

Everyone knows what an onion is and that is most popular used in cooking. An onion belongs to Plantae kingdom and the Amaryllidaceae family. However, only a very small percentage of people know that onions come in different types and colors. Onions are available in yellow, white and red colors; each also comes with different features and flavors. Onions in general are a good source of Vitamin C, iron and calcium. They can be consumed raw as well added to a dish to increase its flavor and have properties that can help reduce heart attacks.

 A white onion has a whitish, or an off-white skin color and they are mild in flavor along with having a sweet, tangy taste. These onions are most commonly used in Mexican cuisine and complement other ingredients well. These onions should be used when you don’t want an overpowering taste of onions in your dish. These onions also have high water content and can spoil faster than other onions. White onions should not be sautéed, as it gets a sweet taste.

Yellow onions can range from yellow, golden to brown in color and have a stronger  flavor and smell. These onions are available throughout the year and are universally used in all types of dishes. Yellow onions have higher sulfur content, which causes eyes to water when cutting the onion and also gives the onion its strong flavor and smell. Yellow onions have less water content compared to white onions and can be stored for a longer period of time.

 

Yellow Onion

White Onion

Color

Yellow  to golden brownish

White and off-white

Flavor

Stronger flavor and smell

Lighter flavor and smell; can be sweet when sautéed.

Used in cuisines

More commonly used; used in every cuisine

Mexican

Sulfur content

Heavy sulfur content

Light sulfur content

Image Courtesy: visionaryvanguard.wordpress.com, jnjinfeng.com

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