WHAT IS A VIDALIA ONION?
It’s a brand name that covers several varieties of sweet, white onions that range 1 to 3 inches in size. The state of Georgia trademarked the name “Vidalia” after the town where it was originally grown in the 1930s. Today there are 13 counties that can harvest this brand. The red soil there has a much lower sulfur content. But why do Vidalias taste sweeter? This onion does have slightly more sugar then other sweet onions. But the real reason is that there is less sulfur present in the bulb. This allows sugar’s flavor is able to stand out more. So Vidalias both taste sweeter and cause less crying when cut While trademarking a generic food by region is somewhat unusual in the States, Europeans have been doing this for hundreds of years. Feta is the most famous example today of this.
WHY ARE VIDALIA ONIONS GOOD FOR YOU?
Onions in general are very healthy for you, and Vidalias are no exception. Compared to other sweet bulbs, this varietal is low in sulfur (versus yellows which are highest). While having less of this mineral might sound like a good thing, it’s a nutrient (alongside calcium) crucial to the human body. Sulfur is mostly absorbed by consuming proteins (fish, chicken, beef, etc) and to a lesser extent eggs and certain vegetables. And sulfur retards spoilage, so less of this mineral means that these onions won’t last as long.
WHEN ARE VIDALIA ONIONS IN SEASON?
They are an April through July crop that is only grown once a year in Georgia.
HOW SHOULD VIDALIA ONIONS BE STORED?
Since Vidalias have a higher moisture content then other onions, they bruise more easily. So be careful about throwing a 40 lb. (18 kg.) box down into your basement. In general keep the onions in a bag with good air circulation. These bulbs prefer darkness and colder temperatures (above freezing to around 40 F / 4C). Stored in this way onions can keep for up to a year. And you can use this pantyhose trick to make them easier to both store and keep from bruising! Or freeze your onions (after peeling and chopping them up) in a zip lock bag for up to 6 months. Make sure to date the outside of your bag so you don’t forget when you froze them!
WHAT IS THE PROPER WAY TO CUT AN ONION?
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WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VIDALIA AND WALLA WALLA ONIONS?
So like most of the United States, Walla Walla onion’s ancestors immigrated to this country. A French soldier named Pieri brought these Corsican onion seeds to Washington state. The chief sweet onion rival to Vidalias, they are very similar. Both are grown in low sulfur environments which cuts their pyruvic acid content in half (vs. other onions). However the flavor profiles of these two are reversed. Whereas Vidalias start on a strong and end on a sweet note in your mouth, Walla Wallas are the opposite. And their harvest periods overlap. So it isn’t unusual for consumers to start buying Vidalias in early summer and switch to Walla Wallas by late summer.