Do you cry when you cut an onion? You aren’t alone!

onions_flickr_Mike LichtNovember 4 — If you love the flavor of onions, but hate the tears that roll down your cheeks when you are chopping … here’s a tip.

Chew something crunchy when cutting — like a piece of French bread or a slice of gum.

Why does this tip work? Our Edible Education Chefs believe it’s because saliva glands and tear ducts can’t work at the same time.

But why do onions make us cry? Onions are made of a tunic of outer leaves (the brown layer), scales (the white firm juicy edible part), and the basal plate (often called the “hairy part” or the “root”). When you cut the basal plate or shoot, it releases an enzyme that creates a gas. And when that gas combines with water (such as the stuff in our eyes), it makes an acid that results in tears.