Author Topic: Onion (Allium cepa)  (Read 1857 times)

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Offline November

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Onion (Allium cepa)
« on: February 15, 2007, 01:36:53 AM »
I believe this is the first time I've actually asked for information from the masses.  Initially this is an opinion poll because onions have such dynamic compositions based on region of growth, variety, size, age, storage (cold vs. room temperature); and flavor-delivery based on preparation (number of outer layers removed, cut long and thin, diced, sautéed, sweated, etc.).  I'm mostly interested in what variety people prefer topping their pizzas with.  The common varieties being yellow, white, red, sweet (Vidalia, Imperial, Walla Walla, Maui), and occasionally wild onions found growing in the yard or by the side of the road.  I also wonder if anybody orders their onions to be shipped from a remote location.

I almost never use white onions on pizza, and a little more often I might use yellow, but most of the time I switch between red and sweet.  I can only guess that I have a subconscience rule about using red with a pizza topped with meat and sweet with vegetable pizzas, because I don't feel like I make the decision consciously.  If anything, the only thing that I'm consciously thinking about is the quality of the various onions on display.  With so many other toppings that exhibit only slight variations in flavor, the onion really stands out as a make-or-break topping.  I've had onions that tasted good enough to eat like an apple, but also others that have unstitched my socks they were so pungent.  I've never experienced another topping with so much range.

So the main question is, what variety of onion do you prefer on your pizza?  Feel free to include any other information about your onion acquisition, preparation, or anecdotes.

(From time to time I may come back to this thread to address the objective qualities of onions.)

- red.november


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Onion (Allium cepa)
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2007, 09:32:31 AM »
November,

In Texas, we have a sweet onion called the 1015s that show up seasonally in the local supermarkets. The 1015s are often likened to the Vidalias because of their mild, sweet flavor. When the 1015s are available, I use them for general purposes, including on pizzas. I either dice or slice them (sometimes thick and sometimes paper thin), and sometimes I caramelize them to bring out even more flavor and sweetness. I use the caramelized onions sparingly on pizzas because they are too sweet for my palate otherwise. I will occasionally use the red onions on pizzas but usually to complement some other topping such as prosciutto or sopressata. I will also sometimes make an onion confit for use on pizzas, or add a bit of balsamic vinegar.

My least favorite onions are the standard yellow ones that are sold in the supermarkets. They are a bit too pungent for my taste but I try to find ways to use them anyway because they are healthful. I usually buy the small onions because I don't like leftover onions smelling up my refrigerator. I store all of my onions in the "crisper" compartment of my refrigerator, and hope that I don't forget that they are there. When I use them, I usually peel away the dry skin and maybe the next layer, especially if it is not fleshy. I never mail order onions although the 1015s can be so purchased.

Peter

Offline November

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Re: Onion (Allium cepa)
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2007, 11:16:28 AM »
Peter,

Ah, the Million Dollar Baby.  Apparently one shouldn't mess with Texas or the names of their onions.  I didn't realize right away that the SuperSweet and 1015 (named for when it should be planted) were one in the same.  When I saw an article about the "1015 SuperSweet" describing the rejection of the SuperSweet name only because 1015 had been on the market for a year, it all came together.  Now I see what a local Texan calls them, because I've seen them being sold as SuperSweets online.

There's a steady supply of Vidalias here, but the quality seems to change from one week to another.  The red onions here go through even more dramatic changes.

- red.november


 

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