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.
Origins in the United States:
“United States sweet onions originated in several places during the early twentieth century.
“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.”
“In Europe, the Oignon doux des Cévennes (fr) from Cévennes, South East France has PDO status.”
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."”
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.”
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.”