The onion (Allium cepa) is a vegetable plant widely cultivated worldwide. Native to Asia, it has been present in France since the Middle Ages and used raw or cooked in everyday cooking.

Characteristics of the onion

It is a bulb that gives a tall plant about sixty centimeters. The flowers of the onion do not exceed 5 mm in diameter and are white or green in color. They are grouped in a round umbel. Many varieties are available, including the sweet Cévennes onion, which benefits from the controlled designation of origin.

Sowing onions

The onion bulb is planted in spring in rows spaced about twenty centimeters apart. The soil should be sandy or at least very well drained. Onions should be exposed to direct sunlight. They are in bloom during the summer.

Onion care

It is important to maintain the growing site by removing weeds that may appear in the rows. Onions do not need to be watered except in case of dryness.

Diseases and enemies of onions

Several diseases can affect the onion: damping-off of seedlings due to soil fungi, smut, onion downy mildew, burning of the onion leaf and white rot of the bulb. Its main enemies are the rod eel and the onion fly.

Onion harvest

Harvesting takes place at different times of the year depending on the variety. White onions will be harvested in late spring while colored onions will not be ripe until summer.

Onion recipes

Vegetable onions can be cooked very well as a vegetable or as a condiment, such as shallot plant, one of its varieties. To accompany foie gras, cold meat or cheese, onion jam is very popular. To prepare it, just chop 500 g of onion into strips and fry in oil until they become translucent. Then, they are left to simmer over low heat for 40 minutes, having added sugar, wine, vinegar, water, salt and pepper. It is then kept for a week in the fridge.

Virtues of onion

Onion, like garlic which is part of the same family, has medicinal properties. It thus has preventive effects against cancers of the stomach and digestive tract. Find all the onion bulbs in the shop! Reference: Onion: benefits to prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease on Passeport Santé.