Foundation for Diet and Health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

Sweet onion

Sweet onions don’t have the sharp, astringent taste of other varieties, can be white or yellow in color, and often have a flat saucer shape.
90/09/01  LA:ALA
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Sweet onions, Allium cepa, work well sliced thinly and served in salads or on sandwiches. They lack the sharp, astringent taste of other varieties and can be eaten raw. Sweet onions contain more water and sugar, which makes them a good choice for many recipes, but means that they can’t be stored as long. Vidalia and Walla Walla sweet onions are two of the most common varieties.

General information:

From Wikipedia: “A sweet onion is a variety of onion that is not pungent. Their mildness is attributable to their low sulfur content and high water content when compared to other onion varieties.”

Origins in the United States:

“United States sweet onions originated in several places during the early twentieth century.

  • Vidalia onions were first grown near Vidalia, Georgia, in the early 1930s. ...
  • South Texas also acquired what is known as the 1015 onion in the early 1980s by Dr. Leonard Pike, a horticulture professor at Texas A&M University, Texas. 1015 Onions are actually named for their optimum planting date, October 15. ... The sweet onion was adopted as Texas' official state onion in 1997. ...”
  • Imperial Valley Sweets come from the Imperial Valley in far southern California. ...”
  • The Sweetie Sweet is a variety of sweet onion grown in the Mason Valley in Yerington, Nevada. The Sweetie Sweet onion can be found in marketplaces September through the end of January.”
  • The Sunbrero (Texas) Sweet Onion is grown in Texas and distributed by Sweet Onion Trading Company, Melbourne, Florida.”

Bermuda onions:

“The Bermuda onion is a variety of sweet onion grown on the island of Bermuda. The seeds were originally imported from the Canary Islands before 1888. Onion export to the United States made up such a prominent feature of Bermudian life, they soon adopted the nickname onions. Sweet onions from Texas largely displaced the Bermuda variety.”

European onions:

“In Europe, the Oignon doux des Cévennes (fr) from Cévennes, South East France has PDO status.”

Culinary uses:

From “en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onion”: “Onions are commonly chopped and used as an ingredient in various hearty warm dishes, and may also be used as a main ingredient in their own right, for example in French onion soup or onion chutney. They are very versatile and can be baked, boiled, braised, grilled, fried, roasted, sautéed, or eaten raw in salads. Their layered nature makes them easy to hollow out once cooked, facilitating stuffing them."”

Eye irritation:

From “en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onion”: “Freshly cut onions often cause a stinging sensation in the eyes of people nearby, and often uncontrollable tears. This is caused by the release of a volatile gas, syn-propanethial-S-oxide, which stimulates nerves in the eye creating a stinging sensation. ... Eye irritation can be avoided by cutting onions under running water or submerged in a basin of water. ... Refrigerating the onions before use reduces the enzyme reaction rate and using a fan can blow the gas away from the eyes.”

Storage:

From “en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onion”: “Cooking onions and sweet onions are better stored at room temperature, optimally in a single layer, in mesh bags in a dry, cool, dark, well-ventilated location. In this environment, cooking onions have a shelf life of three to four weeks and sweet onions one to two weeks. ... Sweet onions have a greater water and sugar content than cooking onions. This makes them sweeter and milder tasting, but reduces their shelf life. Sweet onions can be stored refrigerated; they have a shelf life of around 1 month. Irrespective of type, any cut pieces of onion are best tightly wrapped, stored away from other produce, and used within two to three days.”


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