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While browsing in the produce department the other day, I began to look over the display of sweet onions, and the produce clerk said, "Are you looking for sweet or robust?" And when I replied "sweet," she said, "Look for the onion that is more flat, like a squished down water balloon... that is the female sweet onion, and will be sweeter than the male, which has a more round shape to it." I thought, "Ya gotta be kidding... male and female onions ?!?! But, she said she was serious, that is what she was taught. So, I thought I would pass it along to my Taste of Home Buddies....
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♥ Judy Batson, Field Editor, Taste of Home, 2009 ♥ Reader Council, Simple & Delicious, 2011♥ Contest Winner, Country Woman, 2011♥ Meet me at Cooking for Two.
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I have to admit it is rather crazy, but before posting the original message, I did a quick Google search and there are, indeed, male and female onions. The onions in question were Vidalia, by the way - the best sweet onions available here in my neck of the woods. Thanks for your input; I appreciate all your contributions to these forums.
The ULTRA sweet Texas onions are called 1015's. They are ALWAYS planted on October 15th.....just tradition, and harvested on April 15th. They're excellent, and keep for a loooooooong time, as opposed to Vidalia's which are really great as well, but don't have a long shelf-life. Mexican grown 1015's are good, too, but not QUITE as sweet as the TEXAS 1015's. We bring 50 lbs back with us each spring and they'll keep in the garage til we return the first of November.
I tried to find these not long ago, based on another friend's suggestion, but couldn't find them here in my local market. Tell me, tho in the event that I do find them, you say you bring them back with you, so I assume you don't live in Texas, and then you go on to say that you keep them in your garage until you return in November.... what climate does your garage enjoy?
Once I read that sweet onions keep for a longer time if they are stored inside a nylon stocking hung in a dark place.... my dark place may not have been the best temperature, inside a linen closet, because they all grew sprouts, and then began to rot.... within three weeks. Ugh.
I had been keeping onions in a hanging basket in the basement for quite a while and it worked out just fine. Then suddenly they all started to sprout when I put them there. I'm not sure what's up with that! I'm interested in hearing where everyone keeps their onions as well. I know it's important to separate them from the potatoes.
This question has been bothering me, so I did a quick google search and found several long, scholarly articles on the subject of storing onions, but unless you want to store enough for an army, I think the basic answer has to do with the temperature at which they are stored.
The articles pretty much agreed that the ideal storage temps were between 32 and 40°F. Anything much higher and they would sprout, and, in a humid situation they were more likely to rot.
So, if you have a dark, dry basement that stays below 45, you can store onions for several months, in a mesh bag, wire basket, nylon stockings or a crate.
For the likes of me, living in hot, humid Tampa, store at room temps for a few days; after being peeled, store in the fridge for a few more days.
So, lesson learned. I cannot stockpile Vadalia Sweet Onions.
I read the previous posts with interest. But I am left wondering why would one want to store a big pile of onions? Most of us visit the grocery store weekly or at least monthly. I just buy a new #3 bag when I need it. Sometimes they sprout before I use all of them. I think they are genetically programed to sprout at a certain time of year, as do potatoes.
Anyway, my father in law who was a farmer used to pull his onions and put them under the house till they needed them. No basement, but it was dry under their house and I suppose cooler than out in the sun.
Good site (IMO) re: storage, recipes etc.~A
SCGranny, to answer your question, the original topic was to select the sweetest of the sweet onions, those being the flatter of the two sweet onions. The reason to store onions would only be due to the growing season of the Vidallia onion, which is by far the best sweet onion available to me in Tampa, Florida. On the other hand, folks who grow onions in their vegetable gardens would need to store them, I am sure.... a lot of interesting conversations. We love to chat about these things, and we learn tons of stuff from our chats. Thanks for joining in....
The sweetest onion by far is the Candy onion, also they have a red candy onion that is just as sweet
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