Follows my question and Harold's response.
I wonder if any of you know if (the sugars in ) onions actually caramelize when they brown. I have never detected the aroma of caramel in what most people call "caramelized onions" and for a long time have assumed that folks mistake the effects of maillard reaction and the concomitant increase in sweetness due to concentration of sugars via evaporation for caramelization. What do you think?
"I think you're right that the browning is mostly Maillard, and that the sweetness is what takes people to caramel. But if you brown in butter, you'll get some aroma components in common with caramelized sugar (and of course caramel), so maybe that's part of it too. "