What are the Sweetest Onions?

By: Pittman & Davis | On: | Category: Fruit Information

When it comes to cooking, onions are as integral as eggs or butter. Much like celery, they don’t add much to dishes in terms of nutrition (or calories), but they do add a ton of flavor – so much flavor, in fact, that even those who claim to dislike onions would notice if they weren’t there. This is why onions can be found in every kitchen, from the simplest to the most elaborate.

Gourmet onions form the basis of numerous dishes, be they raw, baked, sautéed, boiled, or steamed onions. It would be hard to imagine hundreds of dishes without these marvelous veggies. But if you prefer a milder onion flavor, sweet onions are the way to go.

What Are Sweet Onions?

You can buy onions in many different sizes, colors, and flavors. Some have milder taste, others more pungent, while some taste sweet.

Larger and slightly flatter than yellow onions, sweet onions have lighter, more translucent skins and contain more sugar than yellow onions, making them good for caramelizing. Their larger size and sweeter flavor make them ideal for making onion rings. A nice, thick slice of sweet onion can also add wonderful flavor to a hamburger or sandwich. In salads, sweet onions add onion flavor without overpowering the rest of the ingredients.

It’s not the extra sugar in sweet onions that makes them so sweet, however – the fact is that sweet onions contain less sulfuric compounds (pyruvic acid in particular) that make regular onions are acrider and more pungent than sweeter onions. (These sulfuric compounds are also the reason why our eyes sting and cry when we chop onions.)

Sweet Onion Varieties

You may have noticed many different names of sweet onions when shopping at the grocery store. While most sweet onion varieties have different attributes in common (like the higher sugar content and lower sulfuric compound content), that are different varieties of sweet onions. Here is a list of the finest sweet onion options:

  • Maui Onions. Grown on the Hawaiian Island of Maui, Maui onions are a small variety of sweet onion that’s available from May through December. It is a hybrid of the granex onion and was one of the first spring onions to appear. It is also considered to be one of the sweetest onions in the world.
  • Texas 1015 Sweet Onion. Of all the sweet onions Texas 1015 onions are often considered the best on the market. It took 10 years of extensive research and countless testing done by Dr. Leonard Pike, a horticulture professor at Texas A&M University, Texas, and a million dollars to develop these mild-flavored and sweet tasting 1015 onions. Also known as Texas sweet onions, 1015 onion were named for when they are planted in Texas, the optimum date being October 15 (10/15). You can find Texas sweet onions for sale from March until June.
  • Vidalia Onions. Sweet Vidalia onions were historically grown in the town of Vidalia, Georgia and had been cultivated in that area since the 1930s. History books credit Moses Coleman, a farmer from Toombs County, for discovering the sweet Vidalia onion. It was recorded that he was able to sell his sweet onions for $3.50 per 50-pound bag, a steep price back in those days. Soon after, other farmers began cultivating the variety and people started to buy Vidalia onions at the Farmer’s Market set up in Vidalia.
  • Walla Walla Sweets. If you are looking for succulent onion, then the Walla Walla sweet is for you. Walla Walla sweets are grown in the southeastern corner of the state of Washington, at the foot of the Blue Mountains. These juicy treats are available from June through August.

Buying Sweet Onions

If you are looking for sweet a Texas onion or other sweet onion on sale but can’t get them from local farmers markets or grocery stores, you should search for sweet onions online and buy onions from online stores that can deliver these sweet tasting onions in great shape right to your front door. Buying onions need not be complicated, so start ordering your sweet onions online today!

How to Store Sweet Onions

You probably already know to store yellow onions in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place. You can certainly do that with your sweet onions, too but they won’t last as long as non-sweet onion varieties due to their higher sugar content. If you can, keep your sweet onions in the fridge. Make sure they’re dry and wrap them in paper towels or foil before you store them in a single layer apart from your other vegetables.

Pittman & Davis Onions Make a Great Gift (Really)!

While it may at first seem like an odd idea to send onion gift boxes to friends and family members for holidays or other special occasions, think again. For one thing, onions last awhile when stored properly. And as stated above, they’re a cooking staple – your recipient is sure to use every last one, and probably sooner rather than later. So, check out Pittman & Davis’s own gourmet onion offerings…you may find you want to get yourself a box or two as well!

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