Harvesting and Storing Onions Easy for Begginers

Onions are a flexible vegetable that are grown worldwide and are a delicious staple in many dishes, like soups and stews, and a flavorful addition to meats and sandwiches.  Onions are harvested within the wild for thousands of years by many indigenous peoples and are believed to possess been cultivated as long as 5,000 years ago in China and India.  In ancient Egypt, they were so highly esteemed, that they had religious significance.

  • Proper selection, harvesting and storage of onions within the fall ensures that they're going to last well into the winter. within the cold dark days of winter, it's a treat to enjoy an onion from your own summer garden. Onions are categorized into two different types:  short-day varieties which produce bulbs when the day length reaches 10 to 12 hours and long-day varieties that don’t develop bulbs until days are 14 to 16 hours long.  Short-day varieties are higher in sugar content and are better suited to more southerly climates.  Generally speaking, longer-day varieties aren't as sweet, and have higher levels of sulfur, giving them a more pungent, as against sweet flavor. These are the onions that cause you to cry when chopping. The long-day varieties, which do better in our climate, also store longer.
  • The optimum time to reap onions is typically within the fall when the tops of the onion leaves begin to yellow. The yellowing is a sign the plant has reached maximum growth and is beginning to go dormant.  If the leaves don't go over on their own, you'll bend the tops to the bottom.  Wait about 24 hours then you'll start pulling them.  Use a fork or other similar implement to loosen the soil under the bulbs, then pull them gently from the bottom by their tops.  The plants are often shaken to rid them of excess dirt, but vigorous brushing or any quite scrubbing can cause bruising which successively can cause rot.   
  • Cure the onions before storing them during a warm dry place.  Good air circulation is important. Garage or shed floors work well.  Keeping them out of direct sunlight will avoid sun scald.  Lie whole plants-leaves, roots, bulbs- during a single layer and leave them to dry for two to 4 weeks.  Onions are completely cured when the tops are dry and brown, and therefore the skins rustle when touched. At now, you'll either cut the tops off or braid them together. Remove roots and lightly ignore remaining dirt.
  • Place onions in mesh bags or crates.  Braided onions are often hung. Onions preserve best when stored during a cool, dark space where the temperature is between 32-40° F.  
Onions with thick stalks that remain green and soft even after curing won't store well. a superb thanks to keep them from spoiling is to caramelize them.  Slow cook chopped onions in oil, add sugar and balsamic vinegar.  When completely caramelized, the onions are often cooled, placed in freezer bags and frozen for future use.

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