Spring is a transitional time for onions. It’s a time when storage, or long-day, onions are done for the season and short-day onions come on. The first onions of the spring season are called short-day because they are planted in the fall and their growing patterns are matched to days with shorter periods of sunlight. Long-day onions are planted in the spring and their growing patterns are matched to long days filled with sunshine. Understanding the qualities of short-day onions will help you educate customers and optimize handling, storing, and merchandising during this season.
(Short-Day Yellow Onions Pictured Above)
- Thinner, lighter colored, and fewer layers of paper skins
- Sweeter flavor profile
- More mottled appearance and green veining
- Higher water ratio makes them softer
- Tendency to mark, nick or bruise easily
- Softer onions have a shorter shelf-life
- Best used fresh and not over-cooked
(Long-Day Yellow Onions Pictured Above)
- Thicker, opaque glossy paper skins
- Less sweet flavor profile
- Evenly toned appearance
- Less water ratio makes then denser
- Firmer and less likely to nick or bruise
- Firmer onions have a longer shelf-life
- Hold up better in cooked dishes
- Keep onions dry and away from misters. Do not refrigerate.
- Remove loose skins from onions to keep your display looking neat.
- Consider placing red onions between yellow and white ones to create a striking color contrast.
- Use waterfall displays to create more space for your onion display.
- Cross merchandise with BBQ grilling supplies, stir-fry veggies, peppers, or potatoes.