Information about Vegetables: Onions

About onions, information about the vegetable, production, history and varieties in the world.


Leading onion growers are New York, Colorado, California, Texas, Michigan, and Oregon, but onions are grown in many other States as well. Mexico, Italy, and Spain are also noted for the size and quality of their onions. Varieties grown in the northern U.S. keep longer and are more pungent; the southern onions can be stored for several weeks, but not for months. There are dozens of varieties, ranging from the large yellow Spanish onions to the flat Italian red. The green and the pearl onions are not separate varieties, they are just harvested at different times. The green onions, or scallions, are harvested young when the bulbs are less than half an inch in diameter. The pearl onions are harvested later when they are one inch or bigger in diameter. Choose firm, dry onions, using the milder Bermuda or Italian red onions for salads, and don't forget to use the tops of green onions for additional vitamin A and C. In some parts of the British Isles, a raw onion is still considered a good defense against colds, and a sandwich consisting of bread, butter, and raw onion is not uncommon as a suppertime snack. Onions keep best in dry, well-ventilated storage at about 33 deg.F. An onion placed in a newly painted room will soak up the odors.

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