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Onions

Winter 2012

Onions

Think of all the recipes that begin with this simple instruction: Cook (saute, melt, etc.) onions. In spite of that ubiquitous beginning, however, the literature of food, which can wax poetically and extensively about salt or beans or wine, gives the onion, which provides the savory structure for thousands of dishes, short shrift.

Maybe it is just that onions are so fundamental that we take them for granted, chopping and ingesting them as casually as we breathe air or drink water. Perhaps it is that the onion is a basic and ancient staple, like rice, corn, garlic, its wild ancestors an inherent part of our … » More …

Winter 2010

Letters for Winter 2010

Walla Walla Sweets

I really enjoyed your article on Walla Walla Sweet Onions in the Fall 2010 Washington State Magazine. It brought back a lot of memories of working at the Walla Walla Produce Company, a wholesale fruit and produce company that my Dad ran, as I was growing up in the 1940s and 50s. I spent a lot of summers loading 50-pound bags of Walla Walla Sweet Onions delivered by the growers to our warehouse into rail cars that were being sent to the midwest and east coast. But your article stated that the onions were “not called Walla Walla Sweets until 1960.” As … » More …

Video: Grilling Walla Walla Sweet Onions

Recipe

Ingredients
Walla Walla Sweet onions
Olive oil
A grill

Peel and slice the onions very thick, about an inch.

Heat the grill. Put the Walla Walla Sweets on the grill when it’s ready. Brush with olive oil as necessary.

When the onions are softened slightly and warm, remove them from the grill and enjoy.

Don’t overcook the Walla Walla Sweets. They only need a little grilling to make them even sweeter.

Video

Tim Steury grills up some Walla Walla Sweets, while describing why these onions are special and how they were brought to Walla Walla. 2 minutes, 53 seconds.

Read about … » More …

Fall 2010

Walla Walla Sweets

When retired French soldier Pete Pieri settled in Walla Walla around the turn of the 20th century, he planted onion seed he had brought from Corsica. His new neighbors, Italian gardeners who had settled there earlier, admired the ability of the onion to winter over in the ground, which gave it a good size for an early summer harvest. The bonus, notes Walla Walla horticultural historian Joe Locati, was its mild flavor. The Italians called it the “French onion” (though it was actually Italian), and by 1910, it was about the only summer onion grown in the area.

In late May this year, Paul Castoldi … » More …