Can onion be eaten raw? I am not sure if it first has to be cooked.

  • 1
    This site typically doesn't permit questions like "is this healthy" cooking.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic. You might be able to edit this into an interesting question, if you instead asked why it is that onions taste hot. Note that this question is indirectly answered here cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/8289/…, especially in the last two links provided in the answer
    – Juhasz
    Jun 6, 2022 at 23:57
  • Word of advice: leave the onions for situations when you don't need to "look your best". The onion breath is real and after a couple raw onions no amount of breath mints or tooth brushing will help; your sweat will smell like onions. You just need to wait it out. They are very healthy, rather tasty, but there's a reason they are used more as a condiment than ingredient.
    – SF.
    Jun 7, 2022 at 15:16

2 Answers 2


Onion can be eaten raw, and there are many cultures that have food preparations making use of raw onion. There are, of course, many varieties of onion, and many types alliums (leeks, chives...etc.), each with their own flavor profiles. You certainly might like some raw more than others, and these different alliums are often used (cooked or raw) according to their individual flavor profiles and applications.

  • My tongue and esophagus are still hurt and swollen
    – Tim
    Jun 7, 2022 at 12:27
  • 2
    @Tim see a medical professional at your earliest convenience.
    – moscafj
    Jun 7, 2022 at 14:01
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    @Tim : some people are allergic to onions, or even all alliums. If that’s the case, you probably want to avoid them even if they’re cooked.
    – Joe
    Jun 7, 2022 at 16:46

When my father was a boy he was evacuated to a small farming village in the north west of the Netherlands, and in that village the boys would eat onions as my father would eat an apple. Raw, just take the dried skins off and bite into it.

It takes a getting used to it, as the onion flavour is quite strong and onions also have a sharp taste.

But it is not harmful, unless your are allergic.

Of course, in preparing food we use raw onions in several ways, the most basic I used was cut very thin and eaten with just a bit of lemon juice (youth hostel meal where we made use of whatever was there and there was not much.) It is way more common to find raw onion in mixed salads, sliced quite thinly, also to tone down the taste.

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