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The difference between storage onions and spring or summer onions

There are generally two types of large, globe-shaped Onions:


These onions are known as storage onions because they store for a long period of time. They are grown in colder climates, and because they are dried for a period of several months after harvesting, their skin is dry and crisp. They generally have a more pungent flavor than spring/summer Onions and are usually named by their color: white, yellow or red. Spanish onions also fall into this classification.

Yellow storage onions are highly flavorful and the most commonly used variety of onions. They also contain the highest concentration of the powerful antioxidant called quercitin which gives them their yellow color.

Red or Berumda onions are the hottest and sweetest of the storage onions. They are high in quercitin and also contain health-promoting anthocyanins which give them their red color. This is the variety we feature in our photographs and in the onion recipe.

Spanish onions are large yellow onions with a very mild taste.

Pear or Boiling onions are a smaller version of storage onions.

White onions are not too sweet and have a mild taste.

Spring or Summer Onions

These juicy onions are grown in warm weather climates, and because they remain in the soil longer than storage onions, much of their carbohydrates turn to sugar giving them their characteristically mild, sweet taste. The extended time in the soil also results in the reduction in nutritional value due to the loss of many of their health-promoting compounds, including sulfur compounds, the reason spring/summer onions do will not bring tears to your eyes like storage onions.

Spring/Summer Onions include: Walla Walla, Vadalia and Maui Sweet onions. They are generally not used in cooking but are enjoyed raw in salads and sandwiches. Unlike storage onions, Spring/Summer onions do not store well, so it is best not to keep them longer than one week.