And if your mother never made fresh-squeezed onionade for you, you may want to consider if she really loved you.

A few years ago, Japan saw the release of Smile Ball (a name which I am making a strenuous effort not to read as “slime ball”), an onion that is free of the chemical which causes some people to tear up when cutting it.

Online, the invention was largely met with criticism and suspicion, but in the supermarkets, where it counts, the new onions have been selling well, even at twice the price of regular ones. Onion purists will also certainly take issue with the fact that removing the tear-jerking chemical also significantly affects the taste.

▼ Would a Smile Ball by any other name taste as sweet?

So, rather than an “improved onion,” it’s probably best to think of this development as a whole separate variety of onion. Actually, you could even say that comparing Smile Balls and onions is quite literally like comparing apples and onions, as this new variety is said to have a sweet taste, not unlike apples or pears.

This opens up a whole new range of possibilities with regards to cooking and eating Smile Balls, most important of which lies in how easily they can be eaten raw. We visited a demonstration at the headquarters of major food producer House and saw some of their serving ideas.

But the crowning achievement of the Smile Ball has to be Onionade, the onion based beverage with the added refreshment of water, lemon, and honey.

We picked up a few sample bottles for the office to get a general consensus, and everyone agreed that Onionade smelled exactly like onion, but while drinking tasted just like apples. Along with its citrusy aftertaste, it was a drink like no other and seemed like it would mix really well with a curry.

Onionade is currently being sold through Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake here to assess demand. After one day it had already reached 40 percent of its target amount, suggesting that people everywhere are thirsting for the great taste of onion, so Japan probably ought to expect a wider release of Onionade in the not-too-distant future.

Source: Makuake/Onionade, House Foods/Smile Ball
Photos ©SoraNews24
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