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Vidalia Onions


Mr. Delicious
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Here at my local grocery store, (actually the most upscale one) they had vidalia onions and upon looking I saw the were from the pacific coasts and rocky mountains. I went to culinary school with a former Miss Vidalia sweet onion pagent winner, and I thought Vidalia onions could only come from certain counties in Georgia. Is this the truth, should I call and chew them out??

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You're absolutely right (or your friend, Miss Vadalia was!), and an appallingly large number of grocers mislabel any sweet onion as 'vidalia', turning it inappropriately into an adjective.

But to answer your question:

In 1986, Georgia's state legislature defined the 20-county production area as follows: All of these counties can grow and sell Vidalia Onions - Emanuel, Candler, Treutlen, Bulloch, Wheeler, Montgomery, Evans, Tattnall, Toombs, Telfair, Jeff Davis, Appling, and Bacon. Portions of the following counties can also grow and sell Vidalia Onions - Jenkins, Screven, Laurens, Dodge, Pierce, Wayne, and Long.

The Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989 which extended the definition of Vidalia Onion to the Federal Level. This USDA program also aided in the establishment the Vidalia Onion Committee.

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technically, yes. but the definition "Vidalia" meant a whole lot more before it spread to 20 counties. In reality, almost all so-called sweet onions are from the same variety and are labeled according to geography (maui, imperial valley, texas 1015). the exception to this is the Walla Walla Sweet, which comes from Corsican seed brought over at the turn of the century.

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technically, yes. but the definition "Vidalia" meant a whole lot more before it spread to 20 counties. In reality, almost all so-called sweet onions are from the same variety and are labeled according to geography (maui, imperial valley, texas 1015). the exception to this is the Walla Walla Sweet, which comes from Corsican seed brought over at the turn of the century.

That's interesting... I never knew that..

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Hi,

Vidalia and other sweet onions are sweet due to a reduced level of pyruvic acid. This is the result of being grown in low-sulphur soil coupled with a mild climate.

In Georgia, the University developed a way to test onion and provide a "certified sweet" vidalia onion. Many fields in Georgia have low sulphur soil, while many field have normal sulpher levels and do not produce "sweet" onions. While onions grown in 20 counties may be labeled as "vidalia", only tested onions may be labeled "certified sweet".

Sweet onions have a very short shelf life. Onions with normal sulphur levels may be stored or longer periods. It doesn't help at all BUT, the vidalia onions that rotted right away were really sweet and the vidalia onions that are lasting quite well are not very sweet.

Tim

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Hi,

Vidalia and other sweet onions are sweet due to a reduced level of pyruvic acid.  This is the result of being grown in low-sulphur soil coupled with a mild climate.

In Georgia, the University developed a way to test onion and provide a "certified sweet" vidalia onion.  Many fields in Georgia have low sulphur soil, while many field have normal sulpher levels and do not produce "sweet" onions.  While onions grown in 20 counties may be labeled as "vidalia", only tested onions may be labeled "certified sweet".

Sweet onions have a very short shelf life.  Onions with normal sulphur levels may be stored or longer periods.  It doesn't help at all BUT, the vidalia onions that rotted right away were really sweet and the vidalia onions that are lasting quite well are not very sweet.

Tim

True Vidalias now carry a stamp on each one verifying origin.

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technically, yes. but the definition "Vidalia" meant a whole lot more before it spread to 20 counties. In reality, almost all so-called sweet onions are from the same variety and are labeled according to geography (maui, imperial valley, texas 1015). the exception to this is the Walla Walla Sweet, which comes from Corsican seed brought over at the turn of the century.

Here in the Bay Area several vendors at the Farmers' Markets sell what they label as Walla Wallas. The are fresh and delicious. However, the Walla Walla Sweets that I received from Walla Walla as a gift were from another planet: they were huge, and the sweetest most delicious onions I ever tasted; when carmelized slowly they were like an exotic candy. Are my local growers getting real Walla Walla seeds or are they mislabeling? If they are actually getting seeds from WA onions why don't they taste the same? Soil?

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