I get so confused at the market. And that's a good thing. I thought Vidalias are a seasonal thing, but their life-span seems to be getting longer and longer. That too, is a good thing.
I think I bought Vidalias as late as September, or November. One
or t'other, Don't know about October. Last fall I found some Little Red onions (sold as boiling onions) in a small mesh bag that I have been using and re-plenishing all winter. Not for boiling, just when I want a little onion. I usually cook for one, Me, and the 2 cats don't get people food unless it's turkey, and that isn't real often, or tuna, and then they each get their own can to lick, and I only need a little onion for either tuna salad or tuna casserole, and they seem to turn their noses up at onions, so these onions come in real handy.
I know I bought fresh market asparagus and used in a dish at Christmas time. Asparagus has been pretty much available all winter, grown in Mexico. This week I still see sweet potatoes/ yams and winter squashes and strawberries, although i tend to avoid these as a hot house fruit. They may be big and red, the flavor is just not as flavorful as summer berries. This week I couldn't find a Pineapple for love nor money. Fresh Hot house / green house grown herbs, even organic, available all year. I wish they would just go ahead and make tomatoes Square Shape so we could tell the difference since that's the only reason they grow them anywhere to ship them off to somewhere else to sell to the un-suspecting.
I wasn't in the onion aisle at the grocer's this week, so I don't know if Vidalia onions have hit the local shelves yet. There are some other sweet onions -- walla wallas and some Hawaiin onions ( Maui wowies; normally I think maui wowie refers to something else -- the good kind that is sold in zip lock baggies LOL) and maybe even some grown in Texas that make up the sweet onion "family". I don't even know when walla walla's are available. I know I have bought them them some time or another, I couldn't say when. Vidalia seems to have cornered the market on this and marketing them.
Simply put --My Bestest is a grilled burger with a thick raw slice and I know I certainly look forward to sweet onions and Vidalia " season". And in salads.
This is an article from Access Atlanta last year--
Food & Restaurants
5:14 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Each year at this time, I start looking for Vidalia onions at the grocery store. These South Georgia-grown sweet onions appear on schedule, just in time for spring salads and summer grilling.
In Georgia, we love our famous seasonal treat. For an onion to be labeled “Vidalia” it must be grown in a specified region that includes 13 counties and portions of seven others, all in Georgia. We’re so proud of these onions we’ve named them our official state vegetable.
Vidalia onion season typically runs from the middle of April through early September. You can count on onion availability in early spring; how long they’ll be in the stores is totally dependent on each year’s crop. With fewer onions harvested, you may have trouble finding them in the stores come August. Lots of onions? Then they should be for sale until September.
The good news is there are, indeed, lots of onions this year. “We’ve got an abundant crop and we’ve been taste-testing the onions around the office. This year’s onions are promising to be really sweet,” said Wendy Brannen, executive director of the Vidalia Onion Committee. The sweetness of the onions, like the size of the harvest, depends on Mother Nature.
Vidalia onions are hand planted and hand harvested. Farmers start their Vidalia onions from seed in September. Those grassy looking seedlings are transplanted into rows come November and December, and the onions grow over the winter until they’re ready to harvest in mid-April. This year’s brief but surprisingly cold winter didn’t hurt the onions, and our long mild spring helped increase the yield.
For those of us who want to extend the season, Brannen offers this suggestion: “Toward the end of summer, it’s time to stock up. We know people still use the panty hose trick [knotting onions individually into panty hose legs], but my favorite way to store them is to buy in bulk and then wrap each onion in paper towels and store them in the refrigerator crisper drawer. Unlike other onions, it’s OK to refrigerate Vidalias.” With her refrigerator trick Brannen is able to have Vidalia onions on hand up until the holidays.
My friend Paula Refi keeps her Vidalia onions on racks in her de-humidified basement. “The Knights of Columbus at our church, St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Decatur, sell them every summer as a fundraiser. I buy a big bag, bring them home and lay them out so they will last as long as possible,” she said.
Brannen told me that Vidalia onions aren’t just a Georgia favorite but are sold in all 50 states and parts of Canada. Refi concurred, saying, “I've been amazed at how my sister and oldest friend in my home town of Philadelphia search out Vidalias every summer. … This humble Georgia crop has attained a certain cachet up north.”
Whether you buy your onions in the Atlanta area or in New York, you’ll find that the Vidalia Onion Committee has gone musical this year. Many bags of onions offer a code for a free music download, or you can show off your songwriting skills by entering the jingle contest and the chance to win prizes like $1000 in cash. All the details are available at Vidalia Onions, Vidalia Sweet Onions, Vidalia Onion Recipes, Buy Vidalia Onions - - Vidalia Onion Committee