Where Do Vidalia Onions Come From
From the time when a farmer in the state of Georgia began growing Vidalia Onions in the early 1930s, consumers have prized them for their sweet, mild taste. It wasn’t long before other Georgia farmers began to include the popular onion among their crops, and the Vidalia Onion now holds a respected place as Georgia’s Official State fruit. Read on to discover more about why many consumers throughout the country wait anxiously for Vidalia Onions to be available for purchase.
Before a potential variety can be certified as an authentic Vidalia Onion, its seed must undergo three full years of rigorous testing. Vidalias seeds must be able to grow only in the specific growing conditions offered only by the southeast Georgia’s Vidalia region. Both the Vidalia Onion Committee and the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture must approve seeds after being recommended for inclusion in the sweet onion family by Georgia’s Commissioner of Agriculture.
The sandy soil in the Vidalia growing region is naturally low in sulfur, and farmers are careful not to use fertilizers that contain added sulfur. Sulfur is the ingredient that gives other onions their hot bite — and it’s also what makes people cry when they’re chopping and dicing other kinds of onions.
Sweet Vidalia onion planting begins in the month of September and continues through February in order to ensure availability from mid-April through November. Careful cultivation practices ensure that much of the work is still done by hand in order to produce the best possible product.
Winters in the Vidalia region are short and temperatures rarely fall below freezing and regular rainfall keeps the onion crops well irrigated. Warm spring days contribute to the sugar content that makes these onions sweet and mild. Onions are also extremely sensitive to changes in seasonal daylight, which means that Vidalia sweet onions will only grow in the precise latitude offered by southeastern Georgia.
Vidalia Onions have a mild and pleasant sweet taste that adds a distinctly delectable note to a variety of dishes. Besides being one of the culinary darlings of professional restaurant chefs and home cooks alike, they’re also a great source of dietary fiber and vitamin C. A Vidalia sweet onion is so good that it can even be eaten by itself either raw or cooked.
Those who buy Vidalia Onions become converts for life, joining millions of others who eagerly await the harvest when the first Georgia Vidalia onions are available online at www.halegroves.com from the comfort of their homes, or the produce aisle of their local markets.