According to www.whfoods.com, the word onion comes from the Latin word unio for “single,” or “one,” because the onion plant produces a single bulb. The name also describes the union (also from unio) of the many separate, concentrically arranged layers of the onion.
That said, Onions are made up of a tunic of outer leaves, scales, and the basal plate.
Now for the reason why cutting or chopping the onion makes you cry is the basal plate. When cut it release an enzyme. That is then cause a chain reaction that then release to the air that eventually reaches the your eyes and make you teared up.
That is why a little knowledge can go a long way. To say goodbye from the tear session when cutting onion. Here are a compiled ways in cutting onion without the tears if not it might help to lessen it.
No Tear Formula of Onion Chopping
Breath through your mouth. Though I find it very inappropriate for the vapor goes to your eyes and not to your nostrils. But to some it works fine. To each its own.
Sharp Knife is needed. The less the onion is being crushed, the less vapors is being release. Though a warning is needed here. You might loose the tear factor, but also might also loose a finger or two.
Underwater onion chopping. This makes sense but it’s not advisable if you want to dice your onion.
Frozen diced onions is an option. If nothing works have somebody do it for you, and the availability of chopped onion in the market is a very viable solution.
Chill it. They say the cooler the onion the less it will make you tear when cutting. It seems that if the enzyme are cold, the reaction will be more slower.
Cut on an open flame. This one I got from my grandmother. She says that the tear producing factor of the onion will be attracted to the heat.
Cut the basal plate to the roots. Now this one is the most scientific one of the bunch. The reason behind this is because that the aromas that cause the tears are based in the root area of the onion, so if you cut a cone out of the onion around the root then you’ll be home free.
I even found a video tutorial on how to do it: