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Walla Walla, WA
Friday, December 8, 2023

A Guide to Walla Walla Sweet Onions

October 26, 2023
Noah Brown

What Makes This Veggie So Special?

Noah Brown

Out of all of Walla Walla’s local crops, none are as recognizable and famous as the Walla Walla Sweet Onion. 

This natural delicacy has been a staple of the West Coast for over a hundred years and was named the official state vegetable in 2007. [1] What makes it different from other onions is that it has a milder, sweeter taste, and doesn’t make you cry when you cut it. This is not because of a higher sugar content, but instead a lower sulfur content and higher percentage of water. [2] 

Onions have many different health benefits, including being a great source of vitamin C, bone strengthening antioxidants, and fiber. In addition, onions are cholesterol, fat, and sodium free. [3] Sweet onions in particular offer a chance to gain these health advantages without having to deal with the pungency of ordinary onions. 

Sarah and Dan McClure, the sole producers of organic Walla Walla Sweet Onions, recommend that people eat these onions raw instead of cooked. This is because cooking the onion causes the internal water content to evaporate, thus making the onions lose their “signature crunch.” [4] 

If you’re feeling hungry for one of these unique onions, here are a few ways you can mix it into your meals. You can: 

  • Slice one and put it on a sandwich 
  • Dice one and add it to a taco 
  • If you’re feeling dangerous, you can even eat it like an apple 

One of the best reasons to buy Walla Walla Sweet Onions is to support our local farms. The only areas these onions are grown in are the Walla Walla Valley and a bit of Northeastern Oregon. [4] Buying and using these onions helps support the efforts of our local farming community, helping them to continue producing great, delicious, and healthy produce. 




  1. State symbols. (n.d.). Washington State Legislature. 
  2. History. (n.d.). Walla Walla County. 
  3. Cleveland Clinic. (2023, May 30). Stop the tears: Why onions are good for you. 
  4. Walla Walla Sweet Onions. (2021, June 26). Meet Washington’s sexiest vegetable: The Walla Walla Sweet Onion. The Seattle Times. 



  1. onions. A pile of onions ready for purchasing. Image by Ilo from Pixabay. 


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