Sweet onion historyThe onion is a member of the pungent Allium genus of the lily family, which also includes garlic, leeks, shallots, scallions, and chives. Most commercially-grown sweet onions are of the common or seed (A. cepa) variety.
The word onion comes to us from the Latin unio (meaning large pearl), which in Middle English became unyon. The bustling city of Chicago was named for a variety of onion the Native American Indians called chicago (A. canadense).
The onion was considered as valuable as gold in the Middle Ages. It has long been a symbol of eternity due to its structural composition of layers within layers which form a sphere.
The onion has amazingly been the focus of some mighty strange legislation over the years. For example, in Nacogdoches, Texas, it's against the law for "young women" to indulge in any raw onions after 6 pm. It is doubtful this law has been enforced in quite some time.
Sweet onion varieties have been traced back to a packet of seeds from the Canary Islands which were shipped to South Texas in 1898. Those Bermuda onion seeds were planted near the city of Cotulla. The sweet onion crop was an instant success.
In 1933, the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station began a cooperative breeding program with the U. S. Department of Agriculture to develop new hybrids and varieties.
You'll find more sweet onion history within the descriptions of each of the spotlighted varieties in the Sweet Onion Pictorial Chart.
More About Sweet Onions:
Sweet Onion Storage and Selection
Sweet Onion Health Benefits
Sweet Onion History
Sweet Onion Pictorial Chart
Sweet Onion Recipes
|||World Famous Vidalia Sweet Onion Cookbook|
|||The Maui Onion Cookbook|
|||The Onion Harvest Cookbook|
|||Fresh from the Farmers' Market : Year-Round Recipes for the Pick of the Crop|