Japan is a land of technological and culinary marvels-- but the latest is a relatively simple solution to an age old problem faced by novice and professional chefs alike.
Grocery stores across the country are about to start stocking onions that won’t make people cry.
According to Rocket News 24, the new tear-free onion is called the Smile Ball-- which is a pretty adorable name for a vegetable-- and it’s an onion painstakingly engineered to not irritate the eyes of people who cut into it.
Regular onions release a sulfur gas when their cells are damaged (by slicing or crushing) and that gas irritates choppers' eyes and makes them tear up. The Smile Ball onions release no such gasses, so they can be chopped with impunity.
They’re also reportedly sweet like fruit when eaten raw.
The scientific advancement of the tearless onion is not free, however.
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Smile Balls, developed by the Japanese producer House Foods, will cost about $4.30 for a pack of just two when they go on sale in supermarkets across Japan this fall. That’s about double the cost of a normal, cry-inducing onion-- but it might be worth the extra dough for those who are patricularly sensitive to traditional onion gas.
Earlier test sales of the tear-free onion were held in Tokyo, and all previous shipments of the Smile Ball were reportedly smash hits with the onions selling out quickly.