Over at Slate, Tony Scocca is fed up
with recipes that perpetrate lies; in particular, the fallacy that
you can caramelize onions in 10 minutes. He quotes recipes from
such respectable sources as The New York Times, Boston Globe,
Washington Post, and Madhur Jaffrey, all of which have
published recipes with a 5 - 10 minute time period for caramelizing
onions. Yet, as Scocca proves, and as Julia Child confirms, it
simply takes 35 to 45 minutes to properly caramelize onions.
Why the myth? Scocca hypothesizes that the demand for short,
30-minute or under recipes is so intense that recipe writers are
simply misleading their readers as to how long it takes to properly
cook onions and, by extension, to properly perform other kitchen
techniques. And, as he points out, there "is the deeper
problem with all the deceit around the question of caramelized
onions. The premise is wrong. The faster you try to do it, the more
you waste your time."
We'd be interested in hearing whether any of our community
members feel there's validity to this argument. Do you believe some
recipes have encouraged incorrect or abbreviated techniques to be
able to put an "under 30-minute" label on a recipe?