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A pearl onion is a type of tree onion grown mostly for pickling as a cocktail onion. However because of its unique diminutive appearance and much sweeter than bulb onion taste it has found use in dishes ranging from middle 20th century American casserole dishes such as succotash to sweetly flavored onion relishes in Indian cuisine. Pearl onions are not a specific variety but are small, round, white onions harvested when 25 mm (1 inch) or less in diameter.
Peeled pearl onion- To peel, use a small sharp knife, such as a paring knife, and cut off the root end of the onion. Then make a shallow crisscross cut on the trimmed edge. Place the onions whole into a saucepan and add water to cover onions. Bring to a boil and let boil for two minutes. Drain, and when cool enough to handle, squeeze the onion gently with your fingers to slip the outside skins off.
How to select
Try to pick out sturdy crisp stalks which do not appear wilted, and you should also check for mold and mildew on the pearl onion.
· They are usually pickled and used as a garnish and in cocktails.
· Small white onions that are picked when between 25 and 38 mm in diameter are used to flavour foods having fairly delicate taste, such as omelets and other egg dishes, sauces, and peas
· Their flesh is white and most often they are cooked to be served as a side dish or added whole to soups, stews and other dishes.
How to store
It is traditionally hung; softneck varieties are often braided in strands, called "plaits" or grappes. Peeled cloves may be stored in wine or vinegar in the refrigerator.
· Raw onion has been proven to lower cholesterol and thin the blood, which helps prevent stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease. Raw pearl onion is great for the heart and circulatory system.
· It blocks the growth of cancer cells; therefore, people who eat garlic tend to develop less stomach and colon cancers
· Pearl Onion is also alleged to help regulate blood sugar levels. Regular and prolonged use of therapeutic amounts of aged garlic extracts lower blood homocysteine level
· Pearl onion are used as a remedy for infections (especially chest problems), digestive disorders, and fungal infections.