We probably all eat onion every day, as it forms the basic ingredient for so many dishes, as well as bringing a mouthwatering aroma to the kitchen as it gently caramelises in the pan. There are dozens of ‘secret’ ways to prevent the eye-watering discomfort associated with a chopped onion, not one of which I have ever had success with. A few years ago, I put on my thinking cap. A milky substance oozed from the root end when I cut it off and I realised that this was different to the juice of the onion layers, and might well be the reason for all the tears.
I sliced off the top of the onion and carefully peeled back the skin to the base where the root was. Grasping the skin for a safe grip on the onion (as per photo) I sliced down to the root, which I then immediately put in the compost bin before it could cause any trouble. Success! Not a tear rolled down my cheek, and I can say without exaggeration that it has worked every time.
I can only imagine that no professional chefs have passed on this tip because they have minions to chop their onions!