What's the colour of an onion?

Seriously now, what is the colour of an onion called? There are red onions, which are easy, but your common, pale-ish onion. What would that colour be?


If you mean, what should I ask for? The common cooking onions are called yellow.

BTW, has anyone else noticed that they seem to have mixed a whole lot of Vidalia onion genes into ‘ordinary’ cooking onions now? They’re whiter, flattened from top to bottom (used to be much more spherical), and they are significantly milder.

Which is all well and good for when you want to put them into a salad, but they impart much less ‘onion’ flavor when cooked in dishes. :mad: Hey, when I want a salad onion, I’ll buy reds, or Bermudas, or gen-you-ine Vidalias. Leave my cooking onions alone!

Hmmm, must’ve not made myself clear. Ok, what is the name of the colour of onions’ skin? It’s not yellow, some of them are red, the inside is white, but what the hell is the name of the colour of the onion’s outer skin. It’s not pink either.

(Sorry, but it’s pissing me off. My flatmate just asked me this, the initial question being posed by his daughter. Two grown men stood in silence while the two year old girl gleefully laughed at our ignorance)

How precise are you expecting? Either yellow or brown is generally correct. You can increase precision up to a hexadecimal value (FFFACD) or a color temperature in Kelvin degrees (3500k), but I doubt that would mean anything to a little girl.

Well, you folks sure do know your onions!

The skin? Light reddish brown?

That’s because when I was a boy, I wore an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. You couldnt get those white ones, you could only get those big yellow ones…

I’m missing something here.

White onions are white of “flesh” and of skin.
Yellow onions have yellow or yellow/brown skins and the flesh is usually ever-so-barely-slightly yellowish/cream colored
Red onions are really more purple. Their flesh is odd though - the outer-facing surface of a layer is purple, with white behind it.

From this page:

If you want something closer to onion-colour than “yellow”, “brown”, or “yellow-brown”, you might try “ochre.”

There’s no single answer to this - different varieties of onion have different coloured flesh inside; the ones I have at the moment are pale greenish-white.