What Makes a Great Onion Ring?

Scrumptious onion rings can be the finishing touch on a meal or enjoyed as a hearty snack all by themselves.  Many factors contribute to making a great onion ring including texture, flavor, aroma, and even appearance. The ideal frozen onion rings will bake up to have a crunchy breading and tender, juicy onions.  The breading should not be chewy, dense or stick to your mouth.  There may be a slight mouth coating of oil, and the oil back note should support the texture and flavor profiles of the onion ring. The flavor of the ideal onion ring is a sweet onion flavor with a toasty tasting breading. The taste balance should be sweet and salty; an ideal combination for many of us.  As we all know, the aroma of food is very important to our overall eating experience, and the aroma of an onion ring should match the taste.  The aroma should fill our noses with a balance of sweet, flavorful onions, toasty breading and a low intensity of fresh oil. Lastly, the appearance of the onion ring can also affect our perception and experience of  enjoying the ideal onion ring.  Onion rings should have a consistent, uniform brown coating.

Tasting terms

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.

  • flavor

    A combination of a food's basic taste and its accompanying aroma, flavor is the distinctive taste of a food or ingredient while it is in the mouth. Along with aroma, appearance, texture and taste, flavor is one of the five dimensions considered by ChefsBest Master Tasters. Example: Chocolate chip cookies should have a moderate chocolate flavor accompanied by a slightly lower level of complex dough flavor that includes egg, flour, vanilla and brown sugar notes.

  • aroma

    The smell that emanates from food. Along with appearance, texture, flavor and taste, aroma is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate a product. Example: Brownies should have an aroma that includes chocolate as well as egg, toasty and sweet notes.

  • appearance

    The visual quality of a food. Used to organize attributes such as color and consistency of size, it is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate food. The other dimensions are aroma, texture, flavor and taste. Example: The appearance of green olives includes attributes such as color (pale to dark) and consistency of size (inconsistent to consistent).

  • sweet

    One of the basic tastes; often considered pleasing while exhibiting characteristics of sugar. Example: Honey, ripe fruits and syrup all have a pronounced sweet component.