Hello from the Vidalia Onion Committee in Vidalia, GA! Today is actually the official season start date. I've talked to our farmers all morning, and they are busy getting onions out of the field and into the packing shed where they'll be readied for the retail stores! Exciting!
Vidalia® Onions have a higher water and sugar content than regular storage onions, making their shelf life shorter and causing them to be susceptible to bruising. Therefore, they must be handled with care by the grower, the retailer and you, the consumer.
My favorite way to store them is to wrap them individually in paper towels and place them in the veggie bin in your fridge (with the vents closed). You will lose a few, but many will keep for months. Buy a big bag at the end of the season and you should have some through the holidays!
The key to preserving Vidalias® is to keep them cool and dry. Here are some more tips:
• In the refrigerator crisper, wrapped separately in paper towels or newspaper.
• In the legs of clean, sheer pantyhose. Tie a knot between each Vidalia® and cut above the knot when you want one. Hang in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area.
• On elevated racks or screens, not touching and in a cool place.
• Vidalia® Onions can be chopped and dried in the oven. Use the lowest setting and remove when thoroughly dry but not brown.
Store at room temperature in airtight containers.
• Vidalia® Onions can also be frozen. Chop and place on a cookie sheet in the freezer. When frozen, remove and place in freezer containers or bags, and seal. Remove the amount you want as needed.
• Freeze whole. Jumbos can be peeled, washed, cored and dropped into a plastic bag. Once frozen, they can be removed like ice cubes.
Whole frozen Vidalias® can be baked.
(Freezing changes the onion’s texture, so frozen onions should
be used for cooking only).
Hope that helps answer your questions, and THANK YOU ALL for being Vidalia fans!
W. Brannen, Executive Director of the Vidalia Onion Committee