Handling & Storage

Handling & Storage Tips

Walla Walla River™ sweet onions are round, with an elongated neck and dry, paper-thin skin.

These onions have a higher water and sugar content than storage (hot) onions, making them more susceptible to bruising, and must therefore be handled with care by the grower, the retailer and consumer.

Since Walla Walla River™ sweet onions are available for only a portion of the year, sweet onion lovers buy them in quantity (40 pounds or more) and store them for extended enjoyment.

The key to preserving these sweet onions (and to prevent bruising) is to keep them cool, dry, and separated.

Walla Walla River™ sweet onions have a distinctly different flavor - milder and sweeter - than any other onion, so they are excellent in salads and sandwiches where hot onions would be overpowering.

You might want to try some of these favorite methods of storage:

  • Place Walla Walla River™ sweet onions in the legs of clean, sheer pantyhose. Tie a knot between each onion and cut above the knot when you want to use one. Hang in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area.

  • Place Walla Walla sweet onions in the refrigerator, wrapped separately in paper towels or newspaper. This method is expensive and takes up precious refrigerator space, but can preserve these sweet onions for a longer period of time.

  • Place Walla Wallas on elevated racks or screens, not touching and in a cool place.

  • Walla Walla onions can be chopped and dried in the oven. Use the lowest setting and remove from the oven when thoroughly dry but not brown. Store at room temperatures in airtight containers.

  • Walla Walla onions can also be frozen. Chop and place in a single layer on a cookie sheet in the freezer. When frozen, remove and place in freezer containers or bags and seal. This method allows you to remove the amount you want when you want it. You can freeze whole Vidalias. Peel, wash, core, then drop into a plastic bag. Once frozen, they can be removed like ice cubes.

    NOTE:Freezing changes the onions' texture, so frozen onions should be used for cooking only. Whole frozen Walla Wallas can be baked.

  • If stored properly in a cool and well ventilated location, Walla Walla River™ Sweet Onions will stay fresh for 3-6 weeks or they can be frozen for use well into the year.


Walla Walla River™ sweet onions add a distinct sweetness to any dish, but they are delicious all by themselves, baked or raw.

  • Use thick slices on hamburgers or with grilled steak.

  • To enjoy a raw Walla Walla, we recommend placing a whole, raw, unpeeled onion in the refrigerator. Chill for approximately one hour before serving, or peel and cut into slices and place Walla Wallas into a bowl of ice water for approx 30 minutes - then drain on paper towels. Either of these methods will help bring out a sweeter flavor when eating raw Walla Wallas.

  • To bake a Walla Walla River™ Sweet Onion, peel and then cut off the top and bottom of the onion to make it sit flat. Place a pat of butter on the top, then microwave for 7 minutes on high. To prepare in a conventional oven, wrap securely in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until tender.

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