The varieties of Onions
Nowadays there are many varieties of onions cultivated worldwide: in general this type of vegetable differs by the shape, size and colour of the bulb, apart by the earliness of the plant and the colour of the skin (or tunics) that covers the edible part of the onion; the skin can be white, gold-yellow and red.
The varieties of onions are also distinguished according to how they are consumed: the variety of onion used for the production will actually change if onions are consumed as a fresh vegetable, dried, or used in the industrial production of pickles. If the onion is consumed fresh, the best period for this vegetable is spring-summer, while if used in the production of pickles, the best period for the harvesting of onions is the end of summer.
Even though from a nutritional point of view there is not much difference, the red onion has more flavoured substances, compared to the white onion: for this reason it is largely used for the fresh consumption and in particular in salads.
The most common varieties of onion are:
- BORETTANA ONION: flat variety of onion, very widespread and used above all in the industry to produce pickles, apart from being used in cuisine with second courses and cold cuts. The colour of the bulb is white with external tunics that are straw-yellow and gold. Small onion.
- CIPOLLA DI BANARI : variety of onion cultivated in Banari (Sardinia, Italy) that is straw yellow and gold on the surface and white-ivory inside. Flat and large onion, whose weight can vary from 400 gr. to 1 kg and whose taste is quite sweet. This variety of onion keeps very well in a fresh and dry place, possibly in the dark and is largely used in the cuisine as it suits well to different processing; this onion is very good if baked.
- CIPOLLA DI BRUNATE: small variety of onion, with a strong flavour and a crisp texture. This onion is largely used to produce pickles and both the bulb and tunics are white.
- CIPOLLA DI CANNARA: variety of onion, whose origins are really dated back and as the Rossa di Certaldo is divided in three sub-varieties, the “Rossa di Toscana or di Firenzee”, the “Borettana di Rovato” and the “Dorata di Parma”.
- The onion “Rossa di Toscana or di Firenze” is intense red and roundish, slightly flat at the top, and this variety is widespread for its great digestibility apart form for its sweet taste.
- The onion “Borettana di Rovato” is instead quite flat and straw-yellow.
- The onion “Dorata di Parma” is round and the shape reminds of a spinning tip, it is gold-yellow and the taste is excellent as the bulb is quite soft.
- CIPOLLA DI SUASA: sweet variety of onion with a sweet taste. The bulb and the skin are rose. During the years the seed of this onion has been mixed with other seeds, for this reason this variety can be quite small or slightly elongated, or large, even if the colour differs only a little: in the first case it can be golden-rose, while in the second it can be more intense and tending to golden-red.
- SWEET ONION: extremely sweet variety of onion, characterized not only by the content of sugars (which is present in many varieties of onions), but also by the very low content of sulphur and by the high content of water.
- CIPOLLA RAMATA DI MONTORO: variety of onion with good organoleptic qualities and a flavoured and sweet taste. The plant of this onion is late: in fact it is sown at the beginning of fall and is harvested only at the beginning of next summer. This onion can be of different shapes, roundish similar to a spinning top or roundish and flat; the bulb colour has violet shades inside and becomes completely white at the centre, while the external surface is copper-coloured. An important quality of this variety of onion is its high capacity to keep well.
- CIPOLLA ROSSA DI ACQUAVIVA DELLE FONTI: very widespread variety of onion, known for its sweetness and for the typical flat shape. It is quite large (it can weigh up to 500 gr.). The bulb colour can vary from red carmine to violet, becoming more and more light going toward the centre of the onion of this particular variety, up to becoming completely white.
- CIPOLLA ROSSA DI CERTALDO: this variety of onion differs in other two sub-varieties, the “Statina” and the “Vernina”.
- RED ONION OF TROPEA: sweet and roundish or ovoid variety of onion. This onion is covered with different internal fleshy “tunics” that are white, while the external tunics (skin) with which it is covered are red-violet. A very digestive onion, very low in calories (about 20 calories par 100 gr of product).
- The variety of onion Statina is red, tending to violet, it is round and is sown in different periods of the year and is consumed as a fresh product in summer.
- The variety of onion Vernina is instead intense red and is more flat; it is found from the end of August for all the winter period and its taste is quite sour.
- The variety of long onion of Tropea, has a quite long shape, suitable for salads. It keeps well.
Nowadays there are many companies that produce onion, certified companies for the production of onions, producers of onions, companies that produce organic onion, companies that deal with the trade of onions and the packaging of fruit and vegetable products, retailers of onions, importers of onions, exporters of onions and wholesalers of onions that use the countless varieties of onions provided by the fruit and vegetable sector with excellent results and a constant production all year long.