Vidalia’s 36th annual Vidalia Onion Festival is scheduled to take place April 18 to 21 in anticipation of the area’s spring harvest of the world-famous Vidalia onion – Georgia’s official state vegetable.What accounts for the Vidalia onion being so famously sweet is the sulfur-deficient soil and the mild climate in the Southeastern region of Georgia where the Vidalia onion is grown. So special is the Vidalia onion, in fact, that the Vidalia Onion Act of 1986 requires that before anyone wishing to use the U.S. certified Vidalia® mark on any products containing fresh Vidalia onions must first apply to the Georgia Department of Agriculture for a license. When purchasing your supply of Vidalia onions, select onions that are free of mold and mildew and are relatively heavy for their size. Because Vidalia onions (and really all onions) have a short shelf life, the Vidalia Onion Committee recommends wrapping them individually in paper towels and storing them in the refrigerator. Keeping onions dry is also very important, and for best flavor, do your best to use them within one week of purchase. For additional recipes and information on versatile sweet Vidalia onions and the upcoming Vidalia Onion Festival, visit www.vidaliaonion.org, or call 912-537-1918.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food columnist with broad experience and interests in the culinary arts. She has resided and worked in the lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.