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Onion Varieties

Onions are wonderful additions to many recipes. They can be sweet or hot, depending upon the variety. Let's look at some of the varieties available in the store.

Did you know that onions rank in the top 10 vegetables produced in the US? We often think of peeling and chopping onions with tears streaming down our face. This isn't true of all onions. Many offer sweeter flavors than the common yellow onion.

Onions are available in red, white, or yellow varieties. Within the onion family there are many options. The Sweet Spanish Onion is a good alternative to the yellow onion. They are larger, but only a fraction sweeter.

Next time you're in the store look for cippoline (chip-ah-LEE-nee) onions. They range from 1-3 inches in size and are a flat oval shape. The peel is a paper bag brown color. It can be used to season dishes from meat to soups, stews, and casseroles.

Red onions are also known as Italian sweet onions. They should be sweet in flavor. They are a favorite onion for salads, hamburgers, or other dishes where color and a sweeter flavor are sought.

Vidalia or Walla Walla onions are sweet and perfect for grilling. These onions should be lightly cooked. There is a higher water content, so they don't keep as long as yellow onions. Be careful, many yellow onions have been passed off as Vidalia onions.

White onions are often used in Mexican dishes. They have a clean, crisp, tangy flavor that makes them perfect for dishes that call for slight heat.

Try my Onion and Fennel Soup recipe.

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