Statistics show that over four million USA citizens today are homesteading for their daily food supplies. So if you are a homesteader and your backyard, terrace, community garden or orchard have some space for onions, it would be best for you to know your onions before you get started.
The first thing that you need to know about onions is that they are seasonal. While some onions would be at their best if they are grown during Spring/Summer (March through August), some onions would be at their best if they are grown during winter/fall (August through May). The spring and summer onions are usually lighter in skin and are higher in water content (which reduces their shelf life). These onions have a sweeter taste and are most popularly used in salads, sandwiches, and lightly-cooked dishes. The winter and fall onions have multiple layers of thick, darker colored skin and are typically lower in water content (thus, their shelf-life span is much longer). They have a stronger taste and are most suitable for savory dishes that require more cooking time or more flavor.
Some of the most popular types of onions are;
Red onions/ Bermuda onions – Red onions contain less sugar and are a great addition to salads. They are also best to be grown during Spring/Summer season.
Green onions or scallions – These onions are thin, long and vertical in shape. They barely need to be cooked and can be consumed raw as well. Green onions are most suitable to be grown in dry weather. The most interesting detail about green onions is that even the green onion leaves can be consumed and adds taste to a meal.
Sweet onions – Sweet onions are also known as Maui onions. They are also grown in dry weather and are therefore most suitable for the spring/summer season.
Pearl onions – Pearl onions are also known as button onions or Baby onions. They are relatively mild in taste and they also have a unique and appealing look. This makes them ideal for a dish like succotash, or perhaps a stew. Their taste would be sweeter still if you cook them whole.
Shallots – Shallots too have a sweeter taste and are mostly used on side dishes. These onions are commonly used in French meals and tastes explicit when fried. White onions
White onions only amount up to 5% of the U.S onion harvest. White onions are definitely an all-purpose onion and are most commonly used in white sauces, pasta salads and Mexican meals. White onions also belong in the spring/Summer season.
Yellow onions/Brown onions – They are by far the most commonly used type of onions for they can be used in almost any form of cooking and in any form of meal. These all-purpose onions amount up to almost 87% of the U.S onion crop. They are the best onion for caramelizing and cooking. Brown onions are quite famous in French meals
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