Onions are often chopped and used as an ingredient in various hearty warm dishes, and may also used as a main ingredient in their own right, for example in French onion soup or onion chutney. They are also used raw in cold salads.

Onions are also used as a thickening agent for curries providing a bulk of the base. Onions pickled in vinegar are eaten as a snack.

These are often served as a side serving in pubs and fish and chip shops throughout the United Kingdom and Australia, often served with cheese and/or ale in the United Kingdom, and as "pickled onions" in Eastern Europe.

Fresh onion has a pungent, persistent, even irritating taste, but when sauteed, onion becomes sweet and much less pungent.

Potatoes are available from March until June.

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