What are Vidalia Onions and Tips for Storing Them
Today I’m telling you all about my recent visit to Vidalia, Georgia to learn more about Vidalia onions, in particular what Vidalia onions are and how best to store them. I also have a really huge giveaway of some onion-worthy tools and a $250 Visa Gift Card. Giveaway now closed. This post is sponsored by the Vidalia Onion Committee. To see all my tasty Vidalia Onion recipes, click here.
The first time I had a Vidalia onion was shortly after we moved to Florida from Canada 5 years ago. I bought them by accident. “We need onions. This bag will do.”
The plan for that night was to make roasted onions (one of my husband’s favorite things) to go with a roast chicken. I cooked them up and we dug into our food. And then we started exclaiming about the onions.
He asked me, “Is there brown sugar in here?” “Nope.” “Honey?” “Nope.” “What’s that sweetness then?” “Carmelization. I’m just plain good at roasting onions!”
But then the next time I went to grab an onion I noticed that the bag said Vidalia Onions on it. “Hmmm…what’s that?” Google to the rescue! It turns out that the roasted onions weren’t sweet and delicious because of my talent. Nope. They were sweet and delicious because Vidalia onions are ALWAYS sweet and delicious.
Since that first taste, I’ve started looking forward to Vidalia onion season each year. So I was delighted when the Vidalia Onion Committee invited me to come visit Vidalia, Georgia (the Vidalia onion’s namesake), to tour a Vidalia onion farm, visit the annual Vidalia Onion Festival and check out the Vidalia Onion Museum.
I had a fantastic time. The people of Vidalia, especially the onion growers and marketers, were so friendly and hospitable. I learned a ton. And ate a ton more. Before I get into all the details about what Vidalia onions are and some great tips for storing them, I want to tell you about a giveaway that the Vidalia Onion Committee is sponsoring right here on Cook the Story. And about some cool promotions they have going on this summer.
The Vidalia-tastic Giveaway and Some Special Offers:
Scroll down to the bottom of this post to enter to win a Wusthof 8″ Gourmet Ridge Vegetable Knife (value $80), a John Boos 24″ by 18″ by 2.25″ Reversible Cutting Board with Chrome Handles (value $145) and a $250 Visa Gift Card (so that you can buy a lot of onions to chop with your new knife on your new board!).
The Vidalia Onion Facebook Page is a great place to hang out. Once there, click on Special Offers to get a $0.50 off coupon for Vidalias. Also, every week in May they’ll be posting a trivia quesitons about Vidalia onions. The first person to answer correctly will win a goodie basket filled with Vidalias and other items.
A final promotion, this one for my food-blogging friends. Enter the V Culinary Challenge by developing a unique recipe featuring Vidalia onions. There’s a grand prize of $2,500 and two runner up prizes of $500 each. Head over to the Facebook Page and click on V Culinary Challenge to enter.
And now, back to Vidalia, Georgia!
Oh. My. Gosh. The food!
Onions found their way into almost everything that we ate. See:
Steak and Grilled Vidalia Onions
Vidalia Onions with Scallops, Bacon and a Pork Chop
Vidalia Onion Rings
And even Cheesecake with Carmelized Vidalia Onions on Top
Can nothing surprise you after that cheesecake? Well, check this out!
See, I meant it when I said that Vidalia onions found their way into everything we ate. Everything! Cool, right?
I really enjoyed touring an onion farm and packing house while in Vidalia. Here are some of the things I learned about Vidalia onions:
What are Vidalia onions? Vidalia onions are the pioneer of sweet onions and Georgia’s official state vegetable. Their mild flavor is due to the unique combination of soils and climate found in Southeast Georgia. The onion variety is a yellow granex hybrid known for its sweet, mild flavor.
Why are Vidalia onions only available in Spring and Summer? Because this particular variety comes to maturity during shorter days than other onions. They are therefore grown as a winter crop with a harvest that begins in Spring. Gorgeous, gorgeous spring. What a beautiful day!
During our tour of the Vidalia Onion Museum we were advised about the best ways to store onions.
These are great tips that I am totally going to implement. Immediately!
One of the best places to store Vidalia onions is in the refrigerator: Wrap each bulb individually in paper towels, which will help absorb moisture, and place them in the crisper with the vents closed. A few will naturally go bad, but many will keep for months. If you buy a big bag at the end of the season you should have Vidalias through the holidays. What a treat!
Or, store onions in the legs of clean, sheer pantyhose. Yes. Really. This is a pretty cool trick. What you do is tie a knot in between each onion. Whenever you want to use one, cut above the next knot and pop out an onion. Hang your hose-strung Vidalias in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area.
You shouldn’t store Vidalias with potatoes. It make the onions go bad quicker. Who knew? I totally keep my onions and potatoes together. Not anymore!
In addition to a tasty informative time, while I was in Vidalia I had the chance to make some new friends and get better acquainted with some old friends. Here we all are in the onion field:
Now that I’ve told you all about Vidalia onions, I’m sure you want to get cooking. Check out all my Vidalia onion recipes here (and note that I have 3 more coming for you in the weeks ahead!).
Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by the Vidalia Onion Committee. The Vidalia Onion Committee also sponsored my trip to Vidalia, Geogia and paid me to develop and photograph Vidalia onion recipes to share on my blog. They also hired me as the photographer for the Vidalia tour. The above pictures belong to the Vidalia Onion Committee but were taken by me. All opinions are my own.
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