The Snake River Valley area in Idaho and Eastern Oregon is the largest onion growing region in the U.S. The climate and soil create the perfect conditions for growing yellow, white and red varieties. Crops are planted in March and April and harvested starting in August. State-of-the-art storage facilities allow Idaho-Eastern Oregon onions to be available from August through March or April.
Idaho onions are known for their golden color, globe shape, remarkably mild flavor and crisp texture. These attributes combine to make Idaho onions some of the most versatile, best tasting, and popular onions in the world.
What To Look For: It’s important to select a fresh onion and the right variety for your cooking needs. The freshest onions will be heavy in your hand and firm to the touch.
- Yellow Onions: When a recipe calls for onions, it’s almost always referring to the all-purpose yellow onion variety. Yellow onions have a strong astringent flavor that will make your eyes swell with tears, but become sweeter the longer they cook.
- White Onions: Many people confuse white and yellow onions. But the biggest difference is how they are prepared in the kitchen. While they can be substituted for cooking yellow onions, a white onion is best served raw. White onions are often used in salsa and on hamburgers.
- Red Onions: Red onions add a beautiful splash of color to your dish and have a mild flavor that is perfect for enjoying raw.
- Sweet Onions: Vidalia, Walla Walla and Spanish are all types of sweet onion. Naturally very sweet, they are often found in onion rings, or by the true onion lover as the star on a parsley and onion sandwich. Sweet onions can be yellow or white in color, but they have more water and less sulfur compared to other onions, which is why they don’t have a sharp flavor. They don’t store as long as other onions, so be sure to enjoy them within a few days of purchasing.
How to Store: Onions can store well for up to two weeks in a cool, dark place. If an onion is soft or gives off a powerful odor, it has most likely passed its peak of freshness.
- Idaho ranks 4th in the nation in onion production.
- Southwest Idaho is famous for Giant Spanish sweet onions.
- 25% of all U.S. onions come directly from the Snake River Valley of Southwest Idaho and Easter Oregon.
- Idaho onions are high in Vitamin C and folate, and they are a great source of fiber, Vitamin B6 and Potassium.
- Onions help protect against cataracts, cardiovascular disease and cancer.