Vidalia onion is a very mild, sweet, moist, globe shaped onion with pale yellow skin and white flesh. It’s exclusively grown in Georgia State, USA and is named after the city of Vidalia.
Vidalia is actually a standard yellow Granex variety of onion and is very moist and mild. it doesn’t make the eyes water, so if you’ve been avoiding using onions because they make you ‘cry‘, then this is the onion for you.
In order for an onion to be called ‘Vidalia’, it must be grown in one of the designated 20 counties centred around the city of Vidalia and Tombs County. The name is also protected through the Federal Marketing Order and as well as Georgia, State Law, so it’s illegal to grow and call a sweet onion ‘Vidalia’ outside the designated area and terroir. (Vidalia Onions)
A Brief History of Vidalia
In late spring 1931, a farmer, Moses Coleman, discovered that onions he planted were moist, mild and sweeter than he expected. It was difficult to sell the onions, of course, but he persisted, and eventually sold them. This marked the beginning of the successful Vidalia story, that eventually led into formation of a Vidalia Onion Committee in 1989. Currently, Georgia State produces over 20,000,000 pounds of Vidalia onions, every season.
In 1990, Vidalia Onion was named Georgia’s Official State Vegetable by the state legislature .
In 1991, the Vidalia Onion Committee began to annually honour one individual by inducting them into the Vidalia Onion Hall of Fame. Here is a link to the full history of Vidalia.
How to Store Vidalia Onions
Vidalia onion has a higher water content compared to other varieties which contributes to its sweetness but also reduces its shelf life and makes it more susceptible to bruising. The onion should be handled with care.
Wrap each onion bulb in a paper tower towel, and place in the refrigerator crisper with the vents closed. The towel will absorb moisture and the onions will keep for months.
Place Vidalia onions in the legs of a panty hose, and tie a knot between each onion to separate them. Hang the panty hose in a cool dry, well ventilated area. Simply cut above the knot and use the onion as required.
Store onions on elevated racks, in a cool dry place and make sure the onions don’t touch each other. Avoid storing Vidalia onions with potatoes, as this will make them spoil faster.
Long Storage of Vidalia Onions
How to dry the onions: chop the onions evenly, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake using the lowest temperature setting until completely dry. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
How to Freeze the onions: chop the onions evenly, place on a large baking sheet and place in the freezer until completely frozen. Pack the frozen onions into sealed freezer bags or airtight containers and keep frozen until needed.
How to freeze whole onions. Peel, wash and core jumbo Vidalia onions. Wrap each, airtight or place in a freezer bag and freeze until required.
Please note that freezing changes the texture of the onions. Here is the link for a more comprehensive storage instructions.