The secret of the sweetness is the South East Georgia soil. Volume, thanks in part to a span of cold weather in December should be down, but quality thanks to a burst of heat in early April should be good.
Harvest of Vidalia Onions, which usually starts in late April, is a little early this year so you should start to see them in your stores right about now.
Vidalia Sweet Onions are a yellow granex hybrid known for their sweet, mild flavor. This unique Georgia - grown onion, known as "The World's Sweetie" receives its mild flavor from the sandy, low-sulfur soil, and the mild, temperature found only in the 20-county production area of Southern Georgia. A fresh Vidalia Onion has a light golden-brown skin and white interior. Its shape is rounded on the bottom and somewhat flat on the top or stem end. Vidalias mature and are harvested from late April through mid-June. A true Sweet Onion is what we call a spring onion - early dug - after the onion is picked and put in storage it starts to get hot. By using controlled atmosphere storage, which is cold storage, it keeps the onion from turning hot somewhat the Vidalia Onions are the Georgia State Vegetable, and about 70% are distributed through grocery stores with the other 30% through roadside stands and mail-order businesses.
The region grown is the most important factor in determining sweetness. The sulfites in the onions are the things that give you the heat and make your eyes tear. By keeping cool, the sugar stays in the onions and the sulfites take longer to take hold.
Baked Vidalia Onions
Other recipes from Produce Pete.