The variations of pearl onions are numerous. The majority of them are members of the Allium cepa species, but their names and marketing materials reflect the regions in which they are grown. Some pearl onions marketed are simply regular onion bulbs that have been harvested while still small enough to resemble actual pearl onions.
The tiny, spherical vegetable known as a "pearl onion" (Allium cepa), also known as a boiler onion, baby onion, or button onion, is related to leeks and bulb onions. This kind of tree onion produces clusters of whiteish, spherical bulbs that are frequently pickled when they are one inch in size or smaller in diameter. With a strong scent and a mild flavour, the edible bulbs can also be red, brown, or yellow in hue. The American, Asian, and European cuisines all employ these onions, which are grown all over the world.
The variations of pearl onions are numerous. The majority of them are members of the Allium cepa species, but their names and marketing materials reflect the regions in which they are grown. Some pearl onions marketed are simply regular onion bulbs that have been harvested while still small enough to resemble actual pearl onions. Germany and the Netherlands are home to Allium ampeloprasum, a different species of pearl onion with a bulb made from a single leaf. Another type is the flat-shaped, Italian-grown cipollini, which has flesh that is yellow in colour and skin that is as thin as paper.
To separate the roots, pearl onions are undercut during harvest. The entire plant bed is raised, and the bulbs are then moved using conveyors specifically made for little onions. They are kept in open spaces or cold storage in warehouses and stacked shallowly to reduce humidity, which will hasten deterioration. Just before cooking, they can be kept at room temperature at home.
How to use pearl onions?
The uses for pearl onions are many. They can be roasted with Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes or in gratins; pickled to be used as a garnish in a Gibson cocktail; sautéed with green beans and a balsamic glaze; added to soups and stews; and perhaps most famously, heated in a pan with chicken broth and butter until caramelised and served as a side dish.
How do you peel pearl onions?
The simplest way to peel these onions is to place them in a small pot of boiling water for approximately 30 seconds, then take them off and place them in a bowl of icy water. The outer skins will come off more easily.