Ever wonder why some onions are yellow, some red and some white? Me too!

Last weekend I was up in Minden, NV. It’s beautiful up in the Carson Valley with the snow capped Sierras framing their western view, and it’s only a short 30 minute trip to Hope Valley and snowshoeing or even less time if you prefer skiing at Heavenly Valley.  But, the best thing about that area is one of my sisters, Judy, lives there. I made the trip “up the hill” to help her move. It was an easy move in that we only had to move her things a few blocks. We’d load up my Explorer and her Escape, drive a couple of blocks, unload, and then go back for more. We worked like this for a couple of days then we decided we needed a break so we took off for a couple of hours of snowshoeing up by Red Lake off Hwy 88. It was a nice break for the three of us. Judy’s black Lab, Ellie, had been having a hard time with the fact that we kept taking the stuff from the only home she has ever known to this other place. The change in scenery and routine was a boost to all our psyches.

There are no year-round Farmer’s Markets in the Carson Valley area. Their market season runs from around May till September. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find local produce. You just have to know what’s available and where to look for it. Luckily, Judy knew that Nevada white onions were available and she knew where to find them. She also knows I love them. So, on one of our outings we stopped to pick up a nice little bag of white onions grown in Yerington. I could hardly wait to cook with them. The next morning I made omelets with white onion, bacon, avocado and cheese. Delicious.

Yesterday as I was photographing the onions I got to thinking about the different colors they come in and wondering what the differences were.

I found the answer on the National Onion Association‘s website:

The Color of Onions
Onions come in three colors – yellow, red, and white. Approximately 87 percent of the crop is devoted to yellow onion production, with about 8 percent red onions and 5 percent white onions.

Yellow onions are full-flavored and are a reliable standby for cooking almost anything. Yellow onions turn a rich, dark brown when cooked and give French Onion Soup its tangy sweet flavor. The red onion, with its wonderful color, is a good choice for fresh uses or in grilling and charbroiling. White onions are the traditional onion used in classic Mexican cuisine. They have a golden color and sweet flavor when sautéed.

I had no idea that white onions made up only 5 percent of the onions grown. Considering how much I love them I’m really glad they grow so well up in Nevada and that my sis lives there so I can buy them local.

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