Dried onion slices are thin, light golden-beige in color, and have a strong, pungent aroma. Their taste is intense and slightly sweet. It can vary in intensity based on the variety of onion used. When cooked, the flavors will become more mellow and sweet, but can also become bitter if overcooked.
Dried onion slices are commonly used in various cuisines such as Mexican, Indian, and Mediterranean, and can be found in dishes such as tacos, stews, curries, and salads. They can also be used as a topping for pizza, sandwiches, and soups.
The slices can be reconstituted before cooking, but this is not a common practice. Reconstituting dried onions involves soaking them in water or another liquid, such as broth or wine, for a period of time until they have rehydrated and become soft. This process can help to mellow the flavor of the onions and remove some of their pungency.
However, it is more common for dried onions to be added to dishes without reconstituting them, as they will rehydrate during the cooking process. When they are added to liquids, they will soften and reabsorb the liquid, and their flavor and aroma will become more pronounced. Additionally, the process of cooking will often break down the cell walls of the onions, releasing their flavors and aromas into the dish.
Whether reconstituted or not, dried onion slices can be used in a variety of dishes to add flavor, texture, and color. They can be added to soups, stews, sauces, and other liquids to provide a robust, sweet and slightly pungent onion flavor. They can be added at the beginning of the cooking process, or towards the end to retain more of their flavor and aroma.
Sweet, slightly pungent, rich, savory taste
Pungent, sweet aroma, strong, intense scent
Light colored, thin (almost papery) slices
Thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, garlic, paprika, cumin, sage, black pepper, nutmeg
Seasonings, stews, dry rubs, spice blends, toppings
Dried onion slices can be added to spice blends, such as rubs, marinades, and spice blends for meat, poultry, or vegetables, to add a sweet, pungent onion flavor.
In ancient Greece, athletes ate large quantities of onions to increase their strength and stamina. Onions were also used as currency and were so valued that they were often used as a form of payment for workers building the pyramids in Egypt.
The strong, pungent aroma of onions is due to the release of sulfenic acid when the onion is cut, which then reacts with other compounds to produce the distinctive aroma. This can cause the eyes to tear when cutting an onion, a phenomenon that has earned the onion the nickname "the tear-inducing vegetable."