I grew up in Georgia, not far from Vidalia, home of the best onions in the world. As a matter of fact, my dad grows them every year and even though they can’t be official Vidalia onions (must be grown in a specific area), they taste just as good, or better, because he has the same soil.
I laugh at TV chefs when they try to pronounce Vidalia. I know I shouldn’t, but I do.
Once, when we were traveling to visit my husband’s mom (we have to go through Vidalia), my youngest daughter, who was born in Georgia, but didn’t grow up there (I know, it’s so sad), saw the Vidalia city limits sign and she – gasp, groan, slap my forehead – mispronounced Vidalia. She said it just like the TV chefs say it.
I instantly repented for neglecting to teach her one of the most important lessons in life – how to correctly pronounce Vidalia. And then an argument ensued. She insisted that she was pronouncing it correctly and I was the one mispronouncing that word. I just had to prove her wrong!
So we stopped at the first convenience store we could find. I did have to use the restroom and grab a bottle of water, but I also had ulterior motives! As we paid for our purchases, I casually asked the clerk, “How do you pronounce Vidalia?” She immediately spit out the correct southern way of saying that word! And I gave my daughter an I-told-you-so grin, an eye roll and a don’t-ever-cross-me look when it comes to southern speak. I, along with that store clerk, am the queen!
And now you are wondering how to really pronounce Vidalia! You know you are!
Correct Southern Way: Vidalia – Vie-Day-yah
Incorrect Way: Vuh-dell-yuh
Get it? (I hope so!)
Any way you choose to pronounce it, Vidalia Onions are the best onions in the world. Period!
Chef Bobby Flay said, “Vidalia onions aren’t just the most famous onions in the world; I think they may be the only famous onions in the world.” I totally agree, Bobby!
The onions were first accidentally discovered near Vidalia, GA, in the early 1930’s. It is an unusually sweet variety of onion, due to the low amount of sulfur in the soil in which the onions are grown. Mose Coleman is believed to be the person who discovered the sweet Vidalia Onion variety in 1931. Thank you, Mose!
The Vidalia onion was named Georgia’s official state vegetable in 1990.
Vidalia onions are the star of many recipes and are perfect to use when cooking, served raw as a condiment and they make the best onion rings.
Speaking of Vidalia Onion Rings, here’s my favorite recipe for making them and I never use any other onion!
Helpful Hint: Set up your onion ring dipping station before you begin the frying process. It makes it a lot easier. If you choose to bake the rings instead, preheat the oven to 450 and line baking pans with parchment paper. Place rings in a single layer and cook until golden brown, about 14-20 minutes.
- 1 large onion cut into ¼" slices
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt (or seasoning salt)
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk
- ¾ cup bread crumbs (such as panko)
- Oil for deep frying
- Slice and separate the onions into rings. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.
- Heat approx. 1" of oil in skillet (or deep fryer) to 350 degrees.
- While the oil heats, dip the onion rings into the flour mixture until all are coated and then set aside.
- Whisk the egg and milk into the same flour mixture.
- Dip the flour coated onion rings into the wet mixture and place on a rack over foil or baking pan until they stop dripping.
- Place rings into the bread crumbs and coat well on both sides. Tap off excess coating.
- Fry the rings a few at a time because they cook very fast. I turn them to brown both sides when using the skillet method. Remove to paper towels to drain.
How about a roasted Vidalia onion? You can find the recipe here!
Need a great dip? Try this Baked Vidalia Onion Dip! Yum!
Do you like onions?