Food Storage: The Yellow Onion

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Yellow or brown onions are common ingredients in most cooking. Onions are best know for their strong flavor that can even be sweet. These culinary staples are enjoyed both raw and cooked all across the globe.

Onions if selected correctly and stored well, can last a significant amount of time. This makes them prime candidates for bulk purchases. While there are many kinds of onions, we will focus on the yellow and brown for storage and selection in this topic.

Knowing how to select an onion is the first step in insuring you have the finest product available with the longest shelf life. To select a quality onion you should look for the following traits.

What to look for:

  • Firm
  • Tightly closed
  • Paper dry skin
  • Heavy for size
  • Smooth
  • Well formed
  • Even colored
  • Soft sheen to skin
What to avoid:
  • Sprouting
  • Dark spots
  • Powdery spots
  • Green spots
  • Softness
  • Blemishes
  • Mold
  • Bruises
After selecting you onions it is important to know how to store them. Though onions can be easily kept in the refrigerator, it is not necessary. Onions can be stored in any cool dark area, it is best to keep them spaced and out of sunlight. We have in the past suggested using the sock method in the past.

Once an onion has been opened, simply wrap tightly and keep refrigerated. If at any point sprouting does occur, trim the sprout and discard the onion. The green stems that grow from onions can be used as a substitute for scallions, as they are edible with a soft onion flavor.

Alternative storages are freezing, pickling, and canning.