Making a case for onion powder

smoked onion powderWhen I first started cooking, my spice rack held only a few spices: salt, black pepper, a few dried herbs, cinnamon, garlic powder, and onion powder. As I grew more adventurous and sophisticated in my cooking, using more fresh herbs and fewer processed ingredients, some of the spices on my shelf seemed to be outdated. The garlic powder, most of the dried herbs, and the onion powder were banished. Writing for Taste, author Leah Koenig says not so fast on that last one, making a case for using onion powder

Koenig finds it odd that people have little hesitation in using other dried or ground spices and herbs, but view onion powder in such a negative light. She says that the spice "has fallen victim to people's erroneous belief, mine included, that it is somehow subpar to its fresh counterpart." Onion powder can provide an additional layer of flavor to your cooking. 

Lior Lev Sercarz, a master spice blender and author of  The Spice Companion, agrees that onion powder has a place in the modern kitchen. "With powder, you get the real essence of the bulb," he says.  "It tastes like onion on steroids - more oniony than an actual onion." He uses the spice in many of his popular spice blends. 

If you are a real do-it-yourself person, you can make your own onion powder from scratch. If that sounds like too much work, choose a powder from a reputable spice company, as many inexpensive brands start with inferior onions and add fillers and anti-caking agents.

Photo of Smoked onion powder from Tasting Table

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