New Cornell onion varieties bring tears of joy to chefs

05/02/2013 07:19:00 AM
Vicky Boyd

Cornell University onion hybridsCourtesy Cornell UniversitySteven Miller, senior executive chef with Cornell Dining and Cornell University breeder Martha Mutschler display several mild onion hybrids.Chefs and consumers alike may shed tears of joy over Cornell University's new mild onions that have long shelf life yet great flavor.

The experimental hybrids, to be released in the next few years, are less watery than current fresh-market varieties, according to a news release.

Mathja Mutschler, a professor of plant breeding and genetics, developed the onion lines.

They were put to the test by chefs, who helped her narrow selections to three.

The three were in expanded trials last year.

The onions have low pungency but have higher Brix, which provides better storage.

They also are long-day varieties adapted to New York state growing conditions.

"The new onion has the potential for being “a superior quality product but grown locally and sustainably, which is a key draw of [Wegmans’] customer base,” Mike Washburn, executive chef at Wegmans, said in the release.

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