The star duo of Texas SpringSweet and Texas 1015 SuperSweet Onions makes its annual premiere this spring - as always, well ahead of the crowd.
Grown in the fertile soil and tender climate of South Texas' Rio Grande Valley, these sweet onions are the first fresh onions to spring onto the marketplace each year. Texas SpringSweet and Texas 1015 SuperSweet Onions are also distinctly mild, cause no tears and possess healthful qualities now known to act as anti-cancer agents.
World-renowned for their friendly taste, these much-anticipated seasonal favorites are available only from March to June. In fact, the 1015 SuperSweet isn't available until mid-April. But after 10 years' and a million dollars' worth of scientific research and development, the mammoth 1015 is well worth the wait.
Horticulturist Leonard Pike of Texas A&M University spent a decade developing the 1015 by isolating the tear-causing chemical pyruvate and decreasing its presence in the already mild SpringSweet. The juicy result of Pike's hard work gets its name from its ideal planting date, October 15.
Because of their high water content - Texas sweet onions contain about 35 percent water, as opposed to the 10 percent water volume of storage onions - Texas SpringSweet and 1015 SuperSweet Onions are moist and juicy and can grow to softball-size proportions. Their mild flavor also makes them a welcome addition to salads, sandwiches, entrees and side dishes. Texas sweet onions are also a favorite of the foodservice industry. In fact, the 1015's single-center design caters perfectly to creating french-fried onion rings.
These sweet onions are an economic treat to the state of Texas as well. The onion reigns as Texas' most valuable vegetable crop, with the 1015 accounting for more than a third of the total onion acreage and production in the Lone Star State. In 1994, the sweet onion industry had an impact of more than $100 million on the Texas economy, according to the South Texas Onion Committee.
Texas SpringSweet and 1015 SuperSweet Onions don't lend themselves to the health of the economy. They are also a good source of vitamin C and fiber, are low in calories and have absolutely no cholesterol. Especially encouraging is the substantial presence of quercetin, an anti-carcinogen. A number of medical reports have shown that quercetin blocks the promotion of cancer in the body and keeps cells from undergoing initial changes that can lead to cancer. Better still, Texas SpringSweet and 1015 SuperSweet Onions' healthful properties aren't destroyed by cooking.
Expect this year's crop to rank with the best. "We've had beautiful, warm weather this year," says Darlene Barter, executive director of the South Texas Onion Committee. "Harvest will come early, and we anticipate the crop to be exceptional."