Out of all of the veggies that we grow at Kuhn Orchards, we must say that our garlic, onions, and shallots are probably the most prevalent. Sure, you can get any onion or head of garlic at the grocery store. But what makes Kuhn Orchards’ so great and wonderful? Let us tell you….as Rusty, our farm manager says, “They’re just great! You can’t find a better onion!”
We grow three varieties of onions: ‘Candy,’ ‘Red,’ and ‘Cippolini’ (pronounced chip-o-leen-ee).
Candy onions are similar in flavor to the more commonly known Vidalia onion. They are sweet and caramelize nicely.
The Red onion variety is “Red Zeppelin;” its such a great name, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to market it like this. Red onions are good for cooking as well, and are delicious on a summer salad to add a nice color, or atop a juicy grilled burger.
Cippolini onions are by far the favorite onion by Kuhn Orchards’ employees. These wide, flat shaped onions are originally from Italy and have a less acrid flavor. They are meaty and hold their shape when sautéed, but are also excellent for roasting and grilling.
Shallots are in the same family as onions, but are a separate species. Shallots grow in clusters and have a thin papery skin with juicy flesh. While it is time consuming to separate the papery skin from the flesh, shallots are totally worth it! They have a rich mild onion flavor and you don’t need a ton for a single dish – just 2 or 3 shallots will do. Shallots are favored in French cuisine and are growing in popularity with chefs. They make exceptional cream sauces and gravies. If you are an inspired home cook, these are a must try!
We grow ‘German White’ hardneck garlic and its heritage can be traced back directly to northern Germany. Our garlic is super easy to peel (just snip the bulb end and then rub firmly between your palms).
The German White garlic is delicious and has a very potent flavor; you typically need to use about half of what you would of the Chinese variety which is commonly sold at the grocery store. So, you get a little more bang for your buck – and add tremendous flavor to your favorite dish.
After we harvest our onions, shallots, and garlic, it is important that they are dried, or cured. We cure our garlic by spreading the plant out in the barn. The garlic takes a couple of days to dry and while it is there, if you have any sort of congestion, just walk towards the barn, inhale, and you are as good as new! We use a large barn fan to cure the onions. By curing the garlic and onions, it allows us to store them longer and increases the shelf life.
So once we finish curing the Allium Family, you will see them at market. We just wanted to introduce them to you before they make their grand appearance at market!