New Onion Notebook Encourages Cathartic Writing Experience

New Onion Notebook Encourages Cathartic Writing Experience
Arts & Culture

How onion-infused paper forces those who write on it to shed a tear or two, no matter the words they're penning.

Hilary Weaver
  • 16 july 2014

Is it the onions or are you just sad to write in this notebook? Japanese notebook manufacturer Magnus Ferreus has created a new notepad that is infused with onions to invoke emotions in the owner who writes in it. The friction of the pen on the paper activates the onion compounds and forces tears from the eyes of the writer.

It has long been common knowledge among avid cooks that any time an onion is cut in the kitchen, one’s tear ducts are at risk of leaking. The chemical reason behind this has has to do with propanethiol S-oxide, which is produced when the knife breaks the cells within the onion’s core and mixes enzymes with sulfenic acids. These acids react with tears to form sulfuric acids that keep the tears streaming.

There are several tips shared between cooks and foodies alike on how to avoid the cathartic effects of onions, some more successful than others. Even skilled chefs like Julia Child, depicted in the 2009 film Julie and Julia, couldn’t escape the overpowering acids released by the onion, or the challenge of cutting it just right.

But Ferreus wants  people to embrace the onion, along with tears. The product could soon go on sale in Japan and already has several ads endorsing it, which mainly involve a great deal of crying along with sad music. Whether it’s in the kitchen or the nightly diary, onions are, apparently, the key to emotion, genuine or otherwise.


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