Book your next plane ticket to the small town of Vidalia, Georgia. The only place in the world that can grow Vidalia onions! This series is sponsored by the Vidalia Onion Committee. Vidalia Onions are available from late April through early September in grocery stores across the country. The season is short and sweet just like the delicious onions themselves, so make sure you look for them in your local retailer and learn more at www.vidaliaonion.org.
You’ve probably heard before that only sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France can correctly and legally be called Champagne. Vidalia onions are the same, except they have to be grown in a certain specific region of Georgia. It is Georgia state law and in the United States Code of Federal Regulation that only onions grown in that region can be called Vidalia onions.
The region of Georgia where Vidalias are grown is in the Southeast part of the state. The city of Vidalia is in that area and that is how the onions got their names. The counties that are allowed to call their onions Vidalias are Emanuel, Candler, Treutlen, Bulloch, Wheeler, Montgomery, Evans, Tattnall, Toombs, Telfair, Jeff Davis, Appling, and Bacon as well as some portions of Jenkins, Screven, Laurens, Dodge, Pierce, Wayne, and Long.
In addition to being grown in the correct area, Vidalia onions also need to be of a certain variety, a yellow granax hybrid. They can be grown in other places but Vidalia onions’ mild sweet flavor is due to the unique combination of soils and climate found in Southeast Georgia. If you plant one of these seeds somewhere else, it won’t end up as sweet.
And we want them to be sweet. So sweet. So good. Vidalias, they’re the Champagne of onions for sure!