The main difference between white onion and brown onion is that white onions have a light and mild flavor profile, whereas brown onions have a strong and complex flavor profile.
Onions are a staple ingredient in many dishes around the world, providing a distinct flavor and aroma to cuisines of all kinds. However, not all onions are created equal, and the type of onion used can significantly impact the final taste of a dish. Two of the most common types of onions we use in cooking are white onions and brown onions. While they may seem similar at first glance, there is a difference between white onion and brown onion in terms of appearance, taste, and culinary usage.
Key Areas Covered
Brown Onion, White Onion
What is White Onion
White onions are a type of dry onion that has a distinctly light and mild flavor profile. White onions are less pungent than most other onion types. They have white, thin, papery skins. Similar to red onions, they contain high levels of sugar and low levels of sulfur, resulting in a shorter shelf life.
We often use white onions in cooking to add a light and fresh taste to dishes. Due to this refreshing taste, most people use them in their raw form in dishes like salads and sandwiches. Furthermore, white onion is a popular ingredient in stews due to its subtle taste, which doesn’t overshadow the other components of the dish. Additionally, if we slice the onion thinly and let it soak in cold water for an hour, we can reduce its pungency, resulting in a sweeter taste. This method can even make the onion enjoyable enough to be consumed raw in a salad.
What is Brown Onion
Brown onion is a common type of onion that has a papery yellowish-brown skin and white flesh. Some people also call them yellow onions. These onions have a pungent and strong flavor than other onion varieties. This strong, complex flavor is due to its high sulfur content.
Brown onions are a versatile and essential ingredient in many cuisines worldwide. Brown onions are often used in cooking as a flavor base for soups, stews, sauces, and other dishes. They are also frequently used in caramelizing due to their high sugar content, which results in a sweet and savory flavor. Raw brown onions have a strong flavor, but when cooked by sautéing, roasting, or caramelizing, they become mild and less intense. They have a high amount of starch, which prevents them from turning mushy even when cooked for extended periods of time. This quality makes them ideal for various cooking purposes.
Brown onions are usually available all year round. They are grown from spring to fall and then kept in storage for the rest of the year. Brown onions are the most common type of onion in northern Europe and account for 90% of onions grown in the United States.
Difference Between White Onion and Brown Onion
White onions are a type of dry onion with a distinctly light and mild flavor profile, while the brown onion is a common type of onion that has a papery yellowish-brown skin and white flesh.
White onions have a light and mild flavor profile, whereas brown onions have a strong and complex flavor profile.
Brown onions are more pungent than white onions.
While white onions have white skin, brown onions have yellowish-brown skin.
White onions are commonly eaten raw or used in recipes that require a subtle onion flavor, such as salads and sandwiches. On the other hand, brown onions are not much used in their raw form. They are typically used in cooking and are ideal for flavoring dishes such as stews and soups.
The main difference between white onion and brown onion is that white onions have a light and mild flavor profile, whereas brown onions have a strong and complex flavor profile. Because of this difference in flavor, we mainly use white onions in their raw form in dishes like salads and sandwiches and brown onions in cooked dishes like soups and stews.