Onion fans will agree that there are few things that are as tasty and delicious as a fried onion ring. It’s true, a guilty pleasure, but the sweet creaminess of boiled onions wrapped in crispy, salty crust is pure yum.
The problem, of course, is that it’s messy to make onion rings, even if you have a fryer and a tub of fresh oil. The shortcut is to find some tasty crispy fried onions in a package. Crack up the can or package and stack the onion-like pieces on a burger or in a grilled cheese sandwich, crunch them on a baked potato, sprinkle them on soup or salad – or use them to make the ever-popular casserole with green beans.
While French’s has deep roots in the category – and includes the ubiquitous casserole recipe on the label – a host of additional options, primarily store brands, have been pushed onto store shelves. Ingredients and nutritional details on these brands are almost identical, but the contents of these packages range from tan to dark brown, large “slices” to small chunks.
One detail to know about these crispy onions is that although they include onions, most brands appear to be made with pureed onions mixed with oil and flour – then extruded to look like sliced onions.
Large crispy fried onions are made with lots of fresh, sweet, aromatic onions. They are fried in fresh oil until they are deep golden brown and give an ultra-toasty, salty, umami punch that is tasty enough to eat as a snack. Unfortunately, few are hitting that mark. The worst crispy onions are undercooked, oversalted pieces of fried flour that taste more like oil than onions.
Here are details of crispy onions that will lift everything from dip to soup, and the icky, crispy onion fakes. Nutrition information refers to 7 grams or about 2 tbsp.
Trader Joe’s Gourmet Fried Onion Pieces
These super roasted pieces have a bold onion flavor. They are small crumbs, but they are just as crispy and tasty as a real onion ring. 45 calories, 3 g fat, 35 mg sodium. $ 2.99 for 6 ounces. (4 stars)
Fresh gourmet crispy onions
Deep brown, significant pieces of onion goodness push this mark to the top. The light touch of salt is an added plus. Note that these come in a “lightly salted” version that has the same sodium content. 40 calories, 3 g fat, 15 mg sodium. $ 2.49 for 3.5 ounces at Spirer; available in bulk at Costco. (4 stars)
Lars Own Imported Crispy Onions
These authentic onion bits give a strong onion flavor because they are actual onion pieces, fried golden brown. Although the sulfur hit of onions is a bit much when eaten out of hand, these would be good in a cooked dish. 40 calories, 3 g fat, 35 mg sodium, 1 g protein. $ 3.79 for 4 ounces at Whole Foods. (3 stars)
Commendable French fried onions
Although these strips taste more like flour than onions, they are nicely browned and have a light, delicate crunch thanks to the use of sunflower oil. 40 calories, 3 g fat, 25 mg sodium. $ 2.28 for 6 ounces at Walmart. (2 stars)
Good & Collect French fried onions
These large, thin pieces look very much like sliced, breaded and fried onions, but they need a bigger punch of onion flavor. 45 calories, 3.5 g fat, 25 mg sodium. $ 2.49 for 6 ounces at Target. (2 stars)
French’s crispy fried onions
This popular brand is disappointing. The medium size of the strips makes them look like real onions, but they are shockingly salty, greasy and so pale that they require oven time. 45 calories, 3.5 g fat, 60 mg sodium. $ 3.99 for 6 ounces at Raley’s. (1 star)
O Organics Organic French Fried Onions
Those who love everything fried may not mind the fact that these golden brown onions taste like salted oil. They do not even smell of onions. 40 calories, 3 g fat, 30 mg sodium, 1 g protein. $ 4.99 for 6 ounces on Safeway. (½ star)
Signature Choose French fried onions
Did anyone taste these at all before deciding to call them crispy onions? They are crispy, but there is no trace of onion flavor. 45 calories, 3.5 g fat, 40 mg sodium, 1 g protein. $ 3.99 for 6 ounces on Safeway. (No stars)
Sunny Select French-fried onions
Avoid this can of hideous onions at all costs. They taste like flour bathed in rancid oil. 45 calories, 3.5 g fat, 40 mg sodium, 1 g protein. $ 2.95 for 6 ounces at Food Maxx. (No stars)
Reviews are based on product samples purchased from this newspaper or provided by manufacturers. Contact Jolene Thym at email@example.com. Read more Taste-off columns at www.mercurynews.com/tag/taste-off.
Disclaimers for mcutimes.com
All the information on this website - https://mcutimes.com - is published in good faith and for general information purpose only. mcutimes.com does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information you find on this website (mcutimes.com), is strictly at your own risk. mcutimes.com will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of our website.