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Sweet onion

Sweet onion

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A sweet onion is a variety of onion
Onion
The onion , also known as the bulb onion, common onion and garden onion, is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. The genus Allium also contains a number of other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion The onion...

 that is not pungent. Their mildness is attributable to their low sulfur
Sulfur
Sulfur or sulphur is the chemical element with atomic number 16. In the periodic table it is represented by the symbol S. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow...

 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 onion
Vidalia onion
A Vidalia onion is a sweet onion of certain varieties, grown in a production area defined by law in Georgia and by the United States Code of Federal Regulations . The varieties include the hybrid yellow granex, varieties of granex parentage, or other similar varieties recommended by the Vidalia...

s were first grown near Vidalia
Vidalia, Georgia
Vidalia, is a city in Toombs and very slightly into Montgomery counties in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 10,491. It is the largest city in Toombs, but is not the county seat...

, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 in the early 1930s. Today the name refers to onions grown in a 20-county production region in the state of Georgia as defined by both state Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 and federal law United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

The Walla Walla sweet onion is named for Walla Walla
Walla Walla, Washington
Walla Walla is the largest city in and the county seat of Walla Walla County, Washington, United States. The population was 31,731 at the 2010 census...

 county in Washington where it is grown. Its development began around 1900 when Peter Pieri, a French soldier who settled in the area, brought a sweet onion seed from the island of Corsica
Corsica
Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located west of Italy, southeast of the French mainland, and north of the island of Sardinia....

 with him to the Walla Walla Valley. This sweet onion was developed by selecting and reseeding onions from each year's crop that possessed sweetness, jumbo size, and round shape.

Other U.S. varieties

  • Imperial Valley Sweets come from the Imperial Valley in far southern California. This is one of the leading growing areas for sweet onions, although they are available only from late April through June.
  • The Carzalia Sweet onion is a variety of sweet onion grown by Carzalia Valley Produce in Columbus, New Mexico
    Columbus, New Mexico
    Columbus is a village in Luna County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 1,765 at the 2000 census. The town is named after 15th century explorer Christopher Columbus.-History:...

    .
  • The Sunbrero (Texas) Sweet Onion is grown in Texas
    Texas
    Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

     and distributed by Sweet Onion Trading Company, Melbourne, Florida.
  • The Sweetie Sweet is a variety of sweet onion grown in the Mason Valley
    Mason Valley
    The Mason Valley is a valley in western Nevada, between the Singatse Range and the Wassuk Range.The Walker River flows through the valley from south to north. The city of Yerington is located in the center of the valley. The Pine Nut Mountains are nearby....

     in Yerington, Nevada. The Sweetie Sweet onion can be found in marketplaces throughout the U.S. from September through the end of January.
  • The Glennville sweet onion is grown in Tattnall County, in Glennville
    Glennville, Georgia
    Glennville is a city in Tattnall County, Georgia, United States. The population was 3,641 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Glennville is located at ....

    , Georgia
    Georgia (U.S. state)
    Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

    .
  • Maui onions are one of the smaller varieties of onions grown on the Hawaiian island of Maui
    Maui
    The island of Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands at and is the 17th largest island in the United States. Maui is part of the state of Hawaii and is the largest of Maui County's four islands, bigger than Lānai, Kahoolawe, and Molokai. In 2010, Maui had a population of 144,444,...

    . They are trademarked "Kula-grown" onions.
  • Pecos onions are sweet onions grown in the Pecos Valley in the state of Texas.
  • Texas 1015 Super Sweet onions are named for their optimum planting date, October 15. They were developed by Texas A&M University.

European onions


In Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, the Oignon doux des Cévennes from Cévennes
Cévennes
The Cévennes are a range of mountains in south-central France, covering parts of the départements of Gard, Lozère, Ardèche, and Haute-Loire.The word Cévennes comes from the Gaulish Cebenna, which was Latinized by Julius Caesar to Cevenna...

, South East France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 has PDO
Protected Geographical Status
Protected Geographical Status is a legal framework defined in European Union law to protect the names of regional foods. Protected Designation of Origin , Protected Geographical Indication and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed are distinct regimes of geographical indications within the framework...

status.