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Old 01-20-2021, 01:52 PM   #1
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Selecting Onions?

I've always felt like I am pretty good on selecting quality produce. However, lately, most onions I get seem to have green centers or sprout within days of the purchase! I store them in a dark, cool place. There is no moisture near. But they all seem to want to sprout.

Is there something more that I should consider? Is there a way to select onions that are going to last a bit more than a few days before sprouting? It's frustrating!
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Old 01-20-2021, 02:13 PM   #2
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Fresh onions should be very firm, with smooth, shiny outside skin. While I rarely have an issue with onions sprouting, I do see it with garlic, and that seems more common in some seasons rather than others (Fall thru Winter never an issue; Spring and Summer more likely) in my No. Cal area. Dunno whether that is due to temp/humidity, or the various harvests during those seasons. Living in the mountains, my house is in the 60's during Winter, and in the 80's during Summer.

A dark cool place is good, but make sure they are not bagged in any way (not even paper).
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Old 01-21-2021, 07:17 PM   #3
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I have 20 bags of onions hanging in mesh bags in the cool basement. They are just starting to sprout this time of year. I use the sprouting ones first. If many many are sprouting, I'll chop them and freeze them. Depending on the variety, some keep better than others. Hopefully there will be at least 6 not sprouted by May, those I'll plant in the garden to go to seed, collect the seed for the following year to grow transplants.
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:33 AM   #4
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I grow onions in my garden and found that white onions will sprout first, then reds, then yellows. I harvest my onions in July and usually an still eating some yellows that have not sprouted by June. I have another special yellow onion called potato onion. They last the longest. I’ve had them last more than a year without sprouting.

I keep them in a cool dark room.
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:39 AM   #5
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BBQcoder, I heard about those, a friend grows them in missouri and she likes them too.
I'm growing the long keepers, Utah Yellow, and mostly Mako. Short keepers but big and sweet, Candy or Walla walla onions are good too. The short keepers sprout in Dec and Jan for me. Those are the ones that usually get chopped and frozen. Delicious.
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Old 01-22-2021, 08:37 AM   #6
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For people who are not dedicated gardeners and with only the grocer's to pick their onions from, there is not really much choice.

I've never gone into the grocer's and seen a list of any variety other than red - white- yellow - spanish, and sometimes we get Vadalia here.

Like you Kathleen, I get frustrated with onions starting to not only sprout but the top layers, under all that shiny skin, are grey and mushy. So at this time of year, I try to remember, not to buy bags bigger than 2 pounds.

Unless I'm using all of them for either onion soup or caramelizing.

You have my understanding sympathy!
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Old 01-22-2021, 04:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I've always felt like I am pretty good on selecting quality produce. However, lately, most onions I get seem to have green centers or sprout within days of the purchase! I store them in a dark, cool place. There is no moisture near. But they all seem to want to sprout.

Is there something more that I should consider? Is there a way to select onions that are going to last a bit more than a few days before sprouting? It's frustrating!
I think it's part of their natural life cycle - their primary job is to reproduce, not to feed us

Another thing you can do when they start to sprout is to slice or chop them up and freeze them. They'll be fine to use in recipes.
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Old 01-22-2021, 05:37 PM   #8
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Of course it is their natural cycle, lol, never doubted that

I get an equal amount of sprouting - which you can see right away.

but the grey mush under the skin is not visible, nor can you feel it. Only noticeable when sliced.

But I'll remember that GG, thanks - slice,dice,freeze - it's the way to go (at least when you do see it)!
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Old 01-22-2021, 06:16 PM   #9
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I think it's part of their natural life cycle - their primary job is to reproduce, not to feed us
They need to get their priorities right I tell ya!
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Old 01-22-2021, 11:02 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by dragnlaw View Post
For people who are not dedicated gardeners and with only the grocer's to pick their onions from, there is not really much choice.

I've never gone into the grocer's and seen a list of any variety other than red - white- yellow - spanish, and sometimes we get Vadalia here.

Like you Kathleen, I get frustrated with onions starting to not only sprout but the top layers, under all that shiny skin, are grey and mushy. So at this time of year, I try to remember, not to buy bags bigger than 2 pounds.

Unless I'm using all of them for either onion soup or caramelizing.

You have my understanding sympathy!
Grey and mushy just stomp my cornflakes. Insult to injury! Like you, I am striving to only get small bags these days.

Quote:
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I think it's part of their natural life cycle - their primary job is to reproduce, not to feed us

Another thing you can do when they start to sprout is to slice or chop them up and freeze them. They'll be fine to use in recipes.
I've frozen them in the past when I think of it in time. These days, I think of it too late.

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They need to get their priorities right I tell ya!
Right? I mean, we paid for them to be here.
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Old 01-23-2021, 08:40 AM   #11
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Of course it is their natural cycle, lol, never doubted that

I get an equal amount of sprouting - which you can see right away.

but the grey mush under the skin is not visible, nor can you feel it. Only noticeable when sliced.

But I'll remember that GG, thanks - slice,dice,freeze - it's the way to go (at least when you do see it)!
My dear dragnlaw, I was speaking to Kathleen
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Old 01-23-2021, 09:22 AM   #12
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I know GG, but it was a good suggestion for me too!
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Old 01-23-2021, 03:13 PM   #13
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I never realized how many onions I used until my son started getting me a 25 + pound bag for fathers day ( might have been 40 or 50 lbs, either way its a lot). I make onion soup, and freeze. I also use the slow cooker to make a few batches of caramelized onions, and freeze them too for future use. I'll chop some up in portion sizes and freeze for cooking purposes, And Ill pickle some for sandwiches. Whatever is left over, that dictates how many onion related dinners ill be eating of over the course of a few weeks . I have too noticed that sometimes I have onions that last forever, and other times they just sprout on me. If its only one or two , I just let them crow and clip them when I need scallions. If I see its happening to the whole lot, I use them up quickly. I used to buy a 3 pound bag at a time which lasted about 1 - 2 weeks . But since my son started getting me the large bag, I now buy the 10 lb bag since its type type of thing that if they're there, ill use them. Cant remember the last time an onion got away from me to the point where I had to chuck it out. worst case scenario, winds up in the compost.
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Old 01-23-2021, 08:03 PM   #14
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OMG, Larry, that's alot of onions!
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Old 01-24-2021, 12:22 AM   #15
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OMG, Larry, that's alot of onions!
Yeah, he didnt know what to get me and asked me what I wanted. I told him to get me a 50lb bag of onions as a joke, and have been getting it ever since ( about 3 or 4 years now )

He's now in China, but has my wife pick it up for him to give to me on fathers day .
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Old 01-24-2021, 05:26 PM   #16
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Yeah, he didnt know what to get me and asked me what I wanted. I told him to get me a 50lb bag of onions as a joke, and have been getting it ever since ( about 3 or 4 years now )

He's now in China, but has my wife pick it up for him to give to me on fathers day .
An awesome gift idea! And a very funny story!
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Old 01-30-2021, 03:34 AM   #17
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Onions, shallots, garlic etc are living bulbs. They donít live forever, and they were picked months ago. Carefully buy one onion at a time. Iíve just gotten into Italian Red Onions, bu they seems to last longer that the others.
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Old 01-30-2021, 08:04 AM   #18
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The only good solution that I have found is to buy less.

I look for 2# bags of golf ball-sized yellow boiling onions. The smaller onions are perfect for one or two people.

In the early spring, I sometimes switch to using green onions. I clean them, wrap them in a barely damp paper towel and keep them in a ziplok bag in the refrigerator.

When all else fails I use dehydrated onions and onion powder for a few weeks until a new crop is available. I have to admit that has as much to do with the higher price of onions in the spring as the quality.

Good luck!
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