Walla Walla Onions
Inventory, 50 lbs : 0
Walla Walla onions are medium to large in size and are globular to somewhat squat in shape with rounded ends. The bulb is encased in a papery, parchment-like skin that is yellow to light brown, flaky, and dry. Underneath the brittle exterior, the white, almost translucent flesh is firm, crunchy, and juicy with many thin layers of white rings. Walla Walla onions are prized for their consistently sweet and mild flavor when raw, and due to their high sugar and water content, they develop a deep, sweet, and warm flavor profile when cooked.
Walla Walla onions are available in the summer through early fall
Walla Walla onions, botanically classified as Allium cepa, are one of the only non-hybrid, sweet onions that are members of the Amaryllidaceae family. Known as a long-day variety, Walla Walla onions are named for their specific growing region in the Walla Walla Valley of Washington in the pacific northwest. These onions are only allowed to be labeled as Walla Walla if they meet specific quality regulations and are grown in the designated region. Harvested by hand due to the bulb’s delicate nature and high-water content, Walla Walla onions develop their sweet flavor from the low-sulfur content in the soil. Approximately 32,500 pounds of Walla Walla onions are harvested per acre each year, and home cooks and chefs favor this variety for their sweet flavor and tender texture.
Walla Walla onions contain vitamin C, potassium, iron, calcium, and are also a good source of fiber.
Walla Walla onions are best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as roasting, grilling, baking, and sautéing. Considered a true raw-eating, slicing onion, due to their consistently sweet and mild flavor, Walla Walla onions can be used fresh and layered on sandwiches, tossed into green and potato salads, chopped into salsa, or minced into sauces and dressings. They can also be cooked in soups, slow roasting stews, and casseroles, served with braised meats and grilled fish, mashed with potatoes, fried into sweet rings, topped over pizza, and mixed into pasta. In addition to savory preparations, Walla Walla onions can be baked into a figgie onion cobbler or pie and made into a sweet onion ice cream. Walla Walla onions pair well with fish such as salmon and swordfish, sausage, poultry, couscous, dill, cucumber, tomatoes, asparagus, green beans, artichoke, garlic, beets, apples, mango, figs, raisins, walnuts, pine nuts, mozzarella, parmesan, cheddar cheese, mint, basil, sage, oregano, and sesame seeds. Due to their high-water content, Walla Walla onions will not store long term but will keep for about 2-3 months in a well ventilated, cool, dry, place.
In 2007, the Walla Walla onion became Washington's official state vegetable, beating out a potato varietal due to Idaho’s close association with the tuber. The original campaign for the Walla Walla onion as the state vegetable was championed by middle school classes beginning in 2004. In addition to being the state vegetable, each July in Walla Walla, Washington there is a sweet onion festival that celebrates the well-known variety through food vendors, arts and crafts, and live entertainment.
Walla Walla onions are named after the county in southeastern Washington state in which they were first cultivated within the United States. A French soldier, Peter Pieri, brought an Italian sweet onion from the French island of Corsica to the Walla Walla Valley in the late 1800s. He further developed the onion from selecting and growing specific traits until achieving the level of size, sweetness, and shape that would eventually become the Walla Walla onion. Today Walla Walla onions are available at farmers markets and specialty grocers in the United States.
Recipes that include Walla Walla Onions. One is easiest, three is harder.