These are our best tips for buying and storing these Georgia-grown gems.

Fresh produce is something to be cherished. It can add delicious flavor and vibrant color to our Southern cuisine. In fact, many folks go out of their way to grocery shop soon after the fresh produce hits the shelf, and here at Southern Living, we fully support that decision. One of our favorite items to pick up is a bag of crisp Vidalia onions. Whether you’re making Vidalia Onion Soup, Vidalia-Honey Vinaigrette, or Crispy Fried Sweet Onion Rings, there are a few things you should keep in mind. These are our best tips for buying and storing the Georgia-grown gems.

Check the Origin

Not all sweet onions are Vidalias, but they have been deemed the pioneer of all sweet onions. The primary distinction is Vidalia onions are grown in or around Vidalia, Georgia (not Walla Walla or Maui onions). The first Vidalia onions were discovered in the early 1930s, and they are still hand planted and hand harvested to this day. Perhaps that’s why the quality is unmatched.

Store Carefully

They’ll keep well in a cool, dry place. If storing them in the refrigerator, wrap each onion in a paper towel, which will help absorb moisture. Because Vidalia onions have a higher sugar and water content than most onions, they bruise very easily. Be sure to handle them with care. If you’re storing them in in the pantry, pantyhose are an option. Tie a knot in between each onion, and cut above the knot when you’re ready to eat one. It’s also important to keep in mind that Vidalia onions freeze nicely.

Don’t Toss the Tops

Onions sold at farm stands or farmers’ markets often come with their green tops still attached. Use them as a substitute for scallions. They have a delicious mild onion flavor! Chop them up and mix them in your cream cheese dip or fresh salsa.

With these simple tips you’ll be well on your way to getting the most out of Vidalia onions.