A cook I know always discards the core of the onion when chopping it. Is there any reason for this? In professional demonstrations and cooking classes, I've never seen it done. From observation, it does seem to make chopping or mincing the way I've always been taught a bit easier, as the core can be awkwardly shaped, but other than that is there anything besides personal preference to it?

  • 1
    it may depend on how you are mincing the onion. since i am typically only using one (cooking for two) i just cut off one end, skin, and cut deep grooves criss-cross through the whole thing vertically with the other end at the base. i then turn the onion on its side and mince through the whole thing leaving dices as uniform as the criss-cross. i have noticed no flavor lost/gained from either method.
    – mfg
    Aug 16, 2010 at 12:33
  • possible duplicate: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/567/…
    – Ocaasi
    Aug 16, 2010 at 13:39
  • @Ocaasi: The question seemed different enough that I didn't want to just comment it as a duplicate, but you're probably right.
    – Cascabel
    Aug 16, 2010 at 13:47
  • @Ocaasi, even though the answers are very similar, the question origin is quite different. I don't think these questions are duplicates. Aug 16, 2010 at 13:58
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    Have you asked the cook in question? I've never seen anyone do that. The only reason I can think of is for uniformity of dice. Aug 16, 2010 at 15:34

4 Answers 4


There is one reason I might do this. If the core is green, that is starting to form a sprout. I cut that out as it can be bitter. Otherwise I don't know why one would do that.

  • I've done this as well, and perhaps always doing it can be a "better safe than sorry" measure.
    – justkt
    Aug 16, 2010 at 16:44
  • @justkt - It depends on what the onions are going into for me. Like a chili or stew, I don't bother. But, if a saute for something more refined, I do. Anyway, 99% of the time it's not an issue as I tend to avoid sprouting onions while at the store.
    – wdypdx22
    Aug 16, 2010 at 16:56
  • I also do the same with garlic if it has started to sprout.
    – wdypdx22
    Aug 16, 2010 at 17:01

The core makes you cry much more than the rest of the onion, if you're prone to tears. There's actually already a question about onions and tears, with an answer explaining this.

  • Given how much I cry when chopping onions, this may be a very convincing reason!
    – justkt
    Aug 16, 2010 at 13:36

I'm a chef and do the same but the only reason we do it is for presentation

  • Hi Matt, welcome to seasoned advice. If you want to comment on another user's answer, you can use the comments section for that instead of posting a new answer. Oct 4, 2015 at 10:20
  • @RichardtenBrink I'm pretty sure "the same" just means discarding the core, so this is an answer: some chefs discard it simply for presentation.
    – Cascabel
    Oct 4, 2015 at 23:43

I was watching an Italian cooking programme the other day and the chef took away the core and explained that it is the most acidic part of the onion. Whether this is true or not I do not know.

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