Friday, May 10, 2013

A Taste of Georgia -- Sweet Vidalia Onions

The Belle (Missy Tippens), here. Sharing one of the things I love to eat this time of year. Sweet Vidalia Onions. Note, Vidalia is pronounced with a long "i" and long "a" sound with the accent on the "da." :)

Now that you can say it, you need to head to the grocery store and try to buy some!

These amazingly sweet onions are grown in a certain region of Georgia where the soil has low sulfur. The area  includes 13 counties and part of 7 other counties. And, like the name says,  the onions were first grown near Vidalia, GA, in the early 1930's.

I was thrilled to find them in the store a couple of weeks ago. Of course, they had a Green Giant sticker on them, so I guess Green Giant is distributing them from local growers.

Some years I've bought whole bags directly from the growers. This year, they only had individual onions (so far). So I grabbed a produce bag full.

One way I've heard of people storing them longterm to keep them from rotting is to hang them in pantyhose (which totally cracked me up!), tying a knot between each onion to separate them. Then you just cut one out of the bottom as needed. :) If you Google it, you'll find photos!

Now that I'm stocked up with my supply of Vidalias, and the days and DAYS and DAYS of rain are over, I plan to grill some, my favorite method of eating.

Tear off a good sized section of aluminum foil for each onion, large enough that you'll be able to wrap it around it. Slice off the top and bottom of the onion and peel it. Place it on the foil. Top with several pats of butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap foil upward and seal at the top to form a "tent," making sure the edges are sealed well. Then put on the grill (direct heat) and cook until tender.

I usually put the onions on before my meat, then time it so they're both done at the same time. The onions take about 30 minutes to cook.

I'm not a huge onion eater, and I almost never eat regular onions raw. But I promise you these are different. They're like eating dessert. You'll love these! I sure hope you can find them in your store. Now that Green Giant is distributing them, maybe you have a chance. If not, well then you need to make plans to come to next year's Vidalia Onion Festival!

You'll have to let me know if you're able to find them in your grocery store. Enjoy!


  1. I love Vidalia onions and we all mispronounce it up here... And my head is stuffy so I don't dare re-educate the entire Northeast today...

    We say: Vi-doll-ya

    So we're totally wrong but we love these things! Beth got a recipe for onion rings from Pioneer Woman's website and that's her "thing" now at gatherings to make a bajillion of these babies with Vidalia's soaked in buttermilk then shaken in seasoned flour.

    Of course deep-fried anything is just wonderful except when you're dieting because Nebraska pics showed a chubby Ruthy...

    Grilled onions. I am so totally trying this because it will be delicious with our Mother's Day foods!!

  2. Mmmm! I love Vidalia's (and thanks to my five years in Kentucky, we pronounce it correctly at our house). I can usually find them at Walmart when they're in season.

    My favorite way to eat them? Sliced, on a grilled burger :)

    But we're having steaks on the grill tomorrow, and your grilled onions would be a fantastic accompaniment, wouldn't they? So now my trip to the store has two items on it - frozen rhubarb and Vidalia onions!

  3. Ruthy, once your nose is unstopped, you'll have to practice saying it correctly! :)


    Hope you feel better asap!

  4. Yes, Jan! I almost always serve them with steak. It'll be perfect! Just put them on in plenty of time.

  5. I like vidalia onions! :-) think I gained a couple of pounds reading about deep frying them (and I don't believe any pics showed a chubby Ruthy...)
    at work and it's very dark outside- supposed to be more storms. hope I dont' end up in a flood like a few weeks ago -that was a nightmare.

    well my lab I've mentioned? she's not doing well. almost had her put to sleep yesterday and this morning was kicking myself for letting the vet talk me into trying this one last med to see if we can get her a few more good days. other stuf worked after a couple of days and she's been happy but legs not working good and panting from the prednisone - and I thinks he sounds rattly like she needs to cough. she really hasn't moved unless I made her get up and helped her. I'm praying she goes peacefully while I'm at work or perks up enough to get through the weekend - the vet I switched to is out of town today through the weekend and won't be back until Monday which figures. oh well I'll take it as it comes. on top of it all my other dog Sasha is limping a bit more, another friend who lost Logan last year is having a rough time with mother's day, and a friend I've seen maybe twice in the last 12 months called with a crisis - she has feelings for a woman! hoo boy needless to say I feel like I'm in the twilight zone or a crazy dream/nightmare :-(

    hope ya'll are having a better day!


    1. You are definitely in the crazy zone!

      My sympathies for you and your lab. It's so hard to watch them suffer, isn't it? Hope the new meds keep her comfortable through the weekend.

  6. Susanna, I'm so sorry your dog's not doing well. I sure hope the new medicine helps, at least to give her some relief until the doctor comes back.

    Hang in there with all the stress in your life right now!

  7. Some times I am able to find real ones but not often. I may have to try the pantyhose trick.

    Peace, Julie

    1. Yeah, I buy the ones labeled "sweet onions" all winter. But in the spring, I get the real ones! I think some of the growers may sell them online.

  8. I"ve heard about using pantyhose - didn't know they still made pantyhose!
    thanks MIssy- I hope it kicks in for her and it still could - usually takes 3-4 doses and she's had 3 as of early this morning. just dont' like that the vet is out of town but didn't want to rush things just because he was gonna be gone.

  9. Hm...not overly fond of onions, to be honest, but that grilling trick sounds intriguing... Unfortunately, we don't even have a grill. Yet. (The gas grill was overtaken by wasp nests a few years ago, and the charcoal grill bottom rotted out, so we scrapped both last fall.) I do like a hint of onion flavor, whereas our d-i-law loves onions. Our 21mo grandson loves to eat them raw. *shudder*

    And I pronounce Vidalia half-right--short "i", long "a". And I live about an hour or so east of Ruthy, so don't let her fool you into believing all Northeasterners, or even western NYers, pronounce it her way! LOL (Feel better, Ruthy!)

    Susanna, prayers with you about your dog. I know the feeling all too well...

    1. Melanie, these are so sweet grilled this way that you almost think you're eating a cooked apple! :)

      You know, I've heard other people pronounce it the way you do. :)

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  11. Shopping trip update: I found some "sweet onions". Not Vidalias, but I'll make do.

    No rhubarb. Not frozen, not fresh (way too early around here), and not even brought in from Mexico or somewhere.

    So I looked at those frozen pies, thinking I could at least get my strawberry/rhubarb fix there while I wait...but no. No rhubarb anywhere.


    That's the last straw. I'm looking for a place to put in the rhubarb patch in the yard this afternoon!

    1. Jan, I'm sorry you didn't have success. Maybe you can make do with a strawberry pie for now. I can't believe they didn't even have it frozen!

      You know, you might want to put a little sugar on those onions. The sweet ones I buy throughout the winter are never as good as a Vidalia.