Varieties of onions are categorized by taste, such as sweet or pungent. Onions are also categorized by color, like white, red, brown or yellow. Yellow onion varieties include Buffalo, Early Yellow Globe, Granex, Yellow Grano and Yellow Bermuda. White onions types include Crystal Wax and White Portugal. Some varieties can be either yellow or white in color such as the popular Spanish onion.
Two popular varieties of red onions are the Burgundy and Red Wethersfield. A brown onion variety is the Sweet Sandwich Hybrid, which has pale yellow flesh. Among all of the onion varieties, yellow onions are the most popular among consumers. Yellow onions are commonly used in a wide variety of dishes, but are also most associated with causing tears when sliced due to their high sulfur content. The sulfur also contributes to their powerfully pungent flavor.
White onions are a good choice for dishes that require a milder onion flavor. This variety is often used in Mexican recipes. They can be substituted when yellow onions are not available. The red onion features a bright red or purplish skin color. Red onions have a mild sweet flavor and are commonly used in salads and other dishes that do not require cooking.