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The New Kitchen Superhero: Onion Goggles

Onion Goggles by RSVP International
RSVP International
RSVP International

Every restaurant and home chef has a coveted tool that makes it easier to get the job done in the kitchen. After all, a well-honed chef’s knife or perfectly sized turner can make all the difference in the speed and efficacy in which your kitchen turns out food. Every now and then, a tool comes along that makes difficult kitchen tasks much more manageable. Nobody likes tearing up in the kitchen while handling a sharp knife. So when you are tasked with prepping onions for any recipe, Onion Goggles by RSVP International can literally save the day.

When the root of the onion is cut, sulfoxide lyase and sulfuric compounds are released that, when in contact with air, form a gas called thiopropanal sulfoxide. When this gas is combined with water (like the water in your eyes), it creates an acid. This is why some people cry when they chop onions. Although this acid doesn’t bother some people, for others (like me) it has a debilitating effect, including watering eyes, runny nose, blurry vision - the whole nine yards.

Some tricks to reduce the effect of this acid are not practical in a busy, commercial kitchen. Who has time to chill onions in the freezer before cutting them? It’s not especially safe to cut onions in water and it may not be possible depending on your kitchen layout to cut them near a strong draft or near hot running water. I, personally, have tried breathing through my mouth and chewing bread while chopping onions. Both were a no-go.

Due to my love of cooking and for the fast-pace of an industrial kitchen, I picked up a part-time side gig at a nearby family-owned restaurant. Their thriving business serves up home-style cooking that uses a lot of onions for stews and sauces in addition to raw diced and fried onions for sandwiches and the standard restaurant favorite, French onion soup. As the kitchen newbie, I was often tasked with onion duty, after which I was a teary-eyed, sniffling, hot mess in the kitchen. I needed help so I reached out to RSVP International. They sent me these stylish green and black foam-lined goggles that create a seal around your eyes to keep that painful acid away.

Test One: I peeled and cut in half a five gallon bucket’s worth of large yellow onions for the dicer. The cutting and peeling phase went well with no adverse effects on my eyes. The dicer pulverizes the onions to a degree, which creates a lot of juice and onion fumes. The goggles also kept my eyes tear-free during the machine dicing phase. 

Test Two: I peeled and sliced another five gallon bucket’s worth of large yellow onions for French onion soup. This batch of onions was particularly strong (as my co-workers complained) and although I sniffled a bit, my eyes remained clear. The soup was delicious, too!

Test Three: I peeled and diced BY HAND a five gallon bucket’s worth of onions (the dicer blades needed sharpening). This was a lengthy and laborious process that stretched through much of the morning however the Onion Goggles came through, keeping my eyes free of irritation.

Test Four: I chopped ONE Vidalia onion at home for pasta sauce WITHOUT wearing the Onion Goggles just to see if, perhaps, I had gotten used to the onion fumes. Not a chance! My eyes were watery and burning from the vapor. I guess I had my answer.

Final Analysis: If you have a problem with eye irritation from onions, these goggles will save you a lot of hassle with very little monetary investment (@ $20). The foam seal is comfortable and effective, the lenses are anti-fog so if you are working next to steaming pots on the stove, you’ll still be able to see what you’re doing. The design is unisex so one size fits all. For more information, see the RSVP International website.

   

Although my kitchen co-workers think these goggles could be part of a Halloween costume, I sort of feel like a superhero when wearing them. After all, these goggles did swoop in and save my day.

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Swim goggles are easier to find; and if you wear glasses?

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