Mr and Mrs Swiss eat more than 4 kg of onions per person per year – and shed a whole load of tears in the process. Just like leek and garlic, onions also contain the sulphide allicin, an essential oil that is responsible for causing the typical irritation that we get in the nose and eyes when cutting the vegetable.
A little tip: in future, to avoid further tears in the kitchen when cutting onions, use a really sharp knife. This reduces the number of cells that are damaged, thus hindering the onion's natural protective mechanism.
Cut onions on a chopping board that has been rinsed beforehand with cold water. The water binds the substances released by the onion, preventing the pungent gas from forming.