Japan is a land of technological and culinary marvels, and the latest is a relatively innocuous product that will bring relief to cooks all across the country, because grocery stores are about to start stocking onions that won’t make people cry.
According to Rocket News 24, the new tear-free onion is called the Smile Ball, which is adorable, and it’s also an onion painstakingly engineered to not irritate the eyes of people who cut into it.
Regular onions release a gas when their cells are damaged by slicing, and that gas irritates people’s eyes and makes them cry. The Smile Ball onions release no such gasses, so they can be chopped with impunity. They’re also reportedly sweet like fruit when eaten raw.
The scientific advancement of the tearless onion is not free, however. Smile Ball onions will cost about $4.30 for a pack of two when they go on sale in supermarkets around Japan this fall. That’s about double the cost of a normal, cry-inducing onion, but a lot of people are likely to want to buy them. Earlier test sales of the tear-free onion have been held in Tokyo, and all previous shipments of the Smile Ball were reportedly smash hits and the onions sold out quickly.