The onion family is a pretty big bunch. No matter which you choose, look for ones that feel heavy and firm with little odor before peeling. Also, regardless of variety, they can be stored for several weeks in a cool, dark pantry or cupboard.
So, which variety should you choose?
- Yellow Onions - the all-purpose, workhorse onion. You can use these in just about any recipe calling for onions. Keep in mind that they tend to become sweeter as they cook. Spanish onions, a type of yellow onion, are slightly sweeter and more delicate.
- Red Onions - aka purple onions. These have a strong bite that is perfect for salads and sandwiches. To reduce their bite, try soaking in ice water for 20 minutes before serving.
- White Onions - another good all-purpose onion. Though white onions do tend to have a sharper flavor; they are also more tender with a thinner skin. You can typically use white onions in any recipe calling for yellow onions.
- Sweet Onions - these lack the sharp flavor of other onions and can range from white to yellow in color. Vidalia and Bermuda are popular varieties. This variety tends to be more perishable than the others, so use them within a few days of purchase or store in the fridge to extend their shelf life.