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The Art of Flavour Sunday e-magazine


Thoughts on Carameliesed Onions

Arthur Huxley - 03-06-2024

It's a bit like our recent Sunday chat about Citrus. Whenever you open a recipe there it is. Some form of citrus.

So it is with the Caramelised Onions. You can't imagine a recipe without it.

Of course, caramelising goes way beyond onions but for the purpose of this little piece we should focus on the quite dramatic flavour lift caramelising onions brings to our dishes.

The French have tried to claim the idea, as they do, with their caramelised onions as a Mirepoix.

Meanwhile, the Italians will tell you it was all their idea and suggest their Soffritto started the whole business.

The Australians predictably, are totally laid back and simply suggest we cook down the onions until soft (or translucent if you are being really swish) then go on from there with whatever you fancy.

You would hope for more from the home team but that's it I'm afraid

The Holy Trinity

Both sides conveniently ignore that both their creations require finely diced carrots and celery paired with the onions to achieve their much acclaimed effect from their pretty words. And both love to describe their creations as a Holy Trinity of flavour - oh well !

The recipe for caramelising onions follows below - you may have to adapt to your available time but always 15 minutes would be a minimum to achieve the wonderful silky, nutty and sweet flavour base.

Think of proper caramelised onions as a topping on a BBQ steak or as a base for your favourite casserole or stir fry. And the wonders of an onion tart or onion soup need no explanation !

Stay well everybody Arthur Huxley