Sweet Onions - Consumer Information
What is a mild onion?
A mild onion is an onion with a low pyruvate acid content and high sugar content. This makes the onion milder and a lot nicer to prepare and eat. It also gives the onion a completely different taste to the mainstream onion. It is able to be enjoyed raw or just slightly cooked.
What's so special about mild onions?
Mild onions are the only onion in Australia backed by a certified and auditable system from paddock to packaging. Think of it like a recipe. Only the right amounts of the correct ingredients added in the right order will make the right mixture. But get the cooking setting wrong and all you end up with is a mess and something that won't taste very pleasant! Moonrocks have painstakingly gone through the whole process from soil type right through to presentation to ensure that mild onions arrive to you perfect every time. And each onion has gone through this certified process – meaning that there is no reason to cry anymore.
Where do they come from?
Mild Onions are grown at Moonrocks (www.moonrocks.com.au), near St George in south west Queensland. The relative isolation, lack of other horticulture farms in the region and suitable soil and weather conditions make this the ideal place to grow mild onions.
Moonrocks has worked hard over the last six years to perfect growing and handling procedures to produce an onion unlike any other on the Australian market. Mild onions have low pyruvate acid and high sugar content, giving them a completely different taste to any other brown onion on the Australian market.
Pyrvuate acid? What's that?
Pyruvate acid is naturally found in onions and is what allows them to sit in your cupboard or on your bench for months. Because pyruvate acid increases shelf life, it has deliberately been bred into onions. You know those rock hard onions with a deep brown skin that feel like cricket balls and make your eyes sting as soon as you cut them? Well all of that is due to pyruvate acid. Basically it's a natural preservative. Makes you want to cry just reading about it.
Mild onions have a lower pyruvate acid content and a higher natural sugar content. This has been achieved by growing select varieties of onions under specific crop management structures. Soil, onion variety, nutrient levels and water availability at key growth stages all change the levels of pyruvate acid and natural sugars in onions. Add in harvest techniques, storage timeframes and processing practices and you start to get an idea of how complicated it is! Over a number of years Moonrocks has discovered the secrets to producing onions with lower levels of pyruvate acid and higher levels of natural sugars– making them mild and a whole lot nicer to prepare and eat.
Why do mild onions have a softer and lighter skin?
This is due to the lesser levels of acid in the onion. Remember onions were initially bred to increase storability – meaning more preservatives had to be added. This manifested itself in the onions through a thicker, dark brown skin and tight rings of flesh. Because pyruvate levels have been decreased the mild Onions have a softer and lighter skin and a less dense flesh.
So they don't store for as long?
No, simply because they are not packed full of preservatives. This is why mild onions are sold in small quantities. It means a great taste AND no waste. What more could you want?