Tuesday, July 7, 2015


Onions so sweet you can eat 'em like an apple

The Walla Walla Sweet Onion is grown exclusively in the Walla Walla Valley in southeast Washington state. The seed was brought from the island of Corsica in 1900 by a French soldier named Peter Pieri. Over the years the Sweet Onion was developed by selecting and reseeding onions that possessed the qualities of sweetness, jumbo size and round shape. 

Historically, Sweet Onions were grown by the valley's Italian farmers many of whose ancestors continue in the onion-growing business today. Family names such as Locati, Castoldi, Taruscio, and Deccio are synonymous with Walla Walla Sweet Onions, although today about 20 growers cultivate onions on nearly 800 acres.

Walla Walla Sweets are available to purchase beginning mid-June through July. But because of their high water content, they have a shorter shelf life than a typical dry onion.

While Walla Walla Sweets are sold in local grocery stores, many roadside stands pop up during the season that sell single onions as well as 5, 10, and 20 pound bags.