Monday, January 31, 2011
A Vidalia onion is a sweet onion of certain varieties, grown in a production area defined by law in Georgia and by the United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The varieties include the hybrid yellow granex, varieties of granex parentage, or other similar varieties recommended by the Vidalia Onion Committee and approved by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
The onions were first grown near Vidalia, Georgia, in the early 1930s. It is an unusually sweet variety of onion, due to the low amount of sulfur in the soil in which the onions are grown. Mose Coleman is considered the person that discovered the sweet Vidalia Onion variety in 1931.
Georgia's state legislature passed the "Vidalia Onion Act of 1986" which authorized a trademark for "Vidalia Onions" and limits the production area to Georgia or any subset as defined by the state's Commissioner of Agriculture. The current definition includes:
The following thirteen counties: Emanuel, Candler, Treutlen, Bulloch, Wheeler, Montgomery, Evans, Tattnall, Toombs, Telfair, Jeff Davis, Appling, and Bacon.
Portions of the following seven counties: Jenkins, Screven, Laurens, Dodge, Pierce, Wayne, and Long.
The Vidalia onion was named Georgia's official state vegetable in 1990.
The Vidalia sweet onion is perhaps the greatest agricultural success story in
Georgia's history. The Vidalia® Onion story began over 70 years ago in Toombs County, Georgia. In 1931, a farmer by the name of Mose Coleman discovered the onions he had planted were not hot…they were SWEET! It was a struggle to sell the concept of a “Sweet” onion, but Coleman persevered and managed to sell those first crops for $3.50 per 50-pound bag.
In the 1940's the state of Georgia built a Farmer’s Market in Vidalia which greatly aided in spreading the word about “those Vidalia® Onions” which is how they got their famous name.
Read more about Vidalia Onions:
Vidalia Onions - History and Facts About Vidalia Onions
Why are Vidalia Onions Sweet?(Dawson Times - Dawson County's News)
BAKED VIDALIA ONION DIP
2 cups of chopped Vidalia onions
2 cups of grated Swiss cheese
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
2 cups real (not low fat) mayonnaise
Mix ingredients together, pour into a shallow baking dish. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake dip for 20 minutes. Serve with crackers, chips, or raw vegetables.
CUCUMBER CELERY AND VIDALIA ONION SALAD
4 cucumbers peeled and sliced
Salt to taste
4 ribs of celery hearts
2 Vidalia onions, thinly sliced
1/3 c. sour cream
1/4 c. sugar or Splenda
1/3 c. white vinegar
1/2 lemon squeezed
Peel cucumbers, slice thin. Toss. Let stand in refrigerator for 1 hour. Rinse and drain. Add onion and celery hearts. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Chill at least 3 hours.
SUPERBOWL VIDALIA ONION QUICHE
1 cup cracker crumbs
5 teaspoon butter, melted
2 1/2 cup Vidalia onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup whole milk
2 medium eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Combine cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press firmly into a 9 inch pie pan.
Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes.
Sauté onions over medium heat in olive oil until translucent.
Spread onions evenly across baked pie crust. Combine milk and eggs; pour over onions. Sprinkle with cheese; season with salt and pepper.
Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool 10 minutes before serving.
Vidalia Onion Farm