|The onion (Allium cepa) is also known as the common onion or bulb onion and is used as a vegetable. Onion is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium, another member of the Allium genus is garlic. Dehydrated Onion is a spice widely used when the fresh ingredient is unavailable. It takes 9 lbs of fresh onions to make 1 lb of dehydrated onions. Granulated Onion is made from ground, dehydrated onions, typically the pungent bulb onion variety and possesses a strong odor. Because they’re dehydrated they have a long shelf life.
Annual per capita consumption of dehydrated onions in the US was 1.4 lbs per person in 2012. Nearly all onions consumed in the US were as a fresh product and total onion consumption in 2012 was just over 21 lbs per person. During the drying process dehydrated onions go from an initial moisture content of around 86% down to approximately to 7%. California harvests 75% of all domestic onions cultivated for use as dehydrated onions in the US.
The earliest writings of domesticated onions has them being grown in India as far back as 600 B.C. Bulb onions were brought to this country by the first settlers to North America, they found the Native Americans were already fond of using wild onions either raw or in a variety of cooked dishes. According to diaries kept by the Pilgrims, bulb onions were one of the first things planted as early as 1648 once the land was cleared.
Today dehydrated onion powder, granulated onions and onion flakes are very popular in other parts of the world – especially in Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Russia and Spain.
Many foodies look down on dehydrated onion as a shortcut for lazy cooks or as a cheap alternative to “the real thing”. We get that and whenever possible we almost always choose fresh onions in our meals – yellow, white, red or shallots. While fresh onions are tough to beat we often find that granulated onion brings together other flavors and provides a subtle completeness that while harder to put your finger on does make the dish taste better.
When and Where to Use
We like to use them when we don’t have fresh onions around and we can adjust the flavor a bit by adding differing amounts of the dried onion. But sometimes these can also be used to give your dish a bit more assertive flavor.
Granulated Onions are perfect when you are looking for desirable onion flavor, but you don’t need the texture. Also ideal to use when time is of the essence as the flavor is so good nobody but you will know the difference. Onion granules are easier to measure than Onion Flakes, and they don’t cake like Onion Powder. Because of this we like to use them in rubs and seasoning blends.
Use granulated onions instead of onion powder if your recipe calls for more bulk and thickness. Granulated onions are often used in spice blends, packaged meats, canned and frozen foods. While granule onions can directly be added to most foods, it is best to rehydrate them before adding to dishes that don't have sufficient amounts of liquid in them or if you’re adding later in the cooking process.
To rehydrate you can place them in a small bowl, cover the granules with water and let them sit for about 15 minutes, then drain off the excess water or you can mix with just enough cool water to make a smooth paste which can then be adding to the dish towards the end of cooking.
We also carry a flavorful Toasted Onion Powder, Roasted Granulated Onion and a Roasted Minced Onion.
You can also substitute 1 Tablespoon of granulated onion for 1 /2 cup of fresh minced onion.
If you're looking to convert a recipe from fresh onions to dehydrated onions go with 1 small onion = 1 teaspoon onion powder or granulated onion = 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes.
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