There are different measurement units: centimeters, kilograms, inches, feet, etc. In some cultures, people still use their arms and fingers to measure things. And then there are onions. What? Is this a joke? Interestingly enough, it is not. Have you ever become frustrated because of not knowing how many onions you should buy at the groceries for this new recipe? Well, we all have been there and know that feeling. So, to answer your questions, we’ve prepared so kind of an essay on this topic.
How many onions in a cup?
So you’ve encountered a recipe that reads “1 medium onion diced,” and want to know how you’re supposed to define a medium onion? Let’s reveal this horrendous secret. A medium onion weighs about 8 ounces, and if chopped, fits in a cup just perfectly.
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And now comes pure mathematics, so if you have an allergy to it, you can skip this paragraph. Following the previous statement, we can conclude that two cups of chopped onions weigh just about one pound. Now, after some clever calculations, 1 cup of diced onions roughly equals to approximately 220 grams, which is just nearly ¼ kilograms.
Okay, all those calculations don’t change the fact that we all perceive sizes differently. Not to mention that some might cut off or peel off more while cleaning an onion. That’s why there’s no certain answer the question of how many onions do you need.
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The carrot problem
The same problem applies to carrots and basically any other food. When a recipe reads that “you need to chop 1 medium carrot” or “you need 1 or ½ cup of chopped carrots,” it can make your brain go wild. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a medium carrot is about 5.5” to 7.25” and can weigh something between 50 to 72 grams. Well, isn’t that frustrating?
If you do the math, you’ll see that 1 cup should be equal to around 3 such carrots. However, on practice, it depends on whether you chop, slice, or shred them. Turns out, you need approximately 1.5 chopped carrots to fill 1 average cup. If you want to slice those carrots, you will need around 2 or more carrots. And in the case of shredding, you will need as many as 3 carrots to fill 1 cup.
Imagine humanity in a parallel reality measures time in onions. How would our lives change if we used such measurement system? Jokes aside, this situation with onions, carrots, and cup can be indeed really frustrating. That’s why we recommend using recipes that don’t have any cups. Wouldn’t it be better if those recipes had all ingredients in grams or ounces?