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Produce Facts: Walla Walla Sweet Onions

Aug 11, 2016

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sweet onion

The Walla Walla sweet onion story began over a century ago when Peter Peiri brought sweet onion seed from Corsica, Italy to the moderate climate of Walla Walla, Washington in the late 1800s.

Walla Walla sweet onions have been produced as a specialty vegetable crop since 1900, developed over generations through the process of carefully hand selecting onions from each year’s crop, ensuring exceptional sweetness, jumbo size, and round shape. The onions are available mid-June through early September. 

Even though they’re sweet, Walla Walla sweet onions are fat free and low in calories. One medium raw onion contains only 60 calories. Onions are a good source of vitamin C, are sodium free and contain no cholesterol.

The Walla Walla sweet onion was designated as the official state vegetable for Washington in 2007. 

“Walla Walla” is a Native American word meaning “many waters.”

Get more onion facts from the National Onion Association

Important Facts

  • Store at 45-50 F with a relative humidity of 65-70%.

  • Approximately 20 growers cultivate Walla Walla sweet onions on about 800 acres in the fertile soils of the Walla Walla Valley in southeastern Washington and northeastern Oregon.

  • Because they have a higher water content than most onions, Walla Walla sweet onions have a shorter shelf life. If kept separate in a cool, ventilated location, these sweets can be stored for three to six weeks.

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