Brown onions are best stored in a cool dry place. Remove them from any packaging, particularly if it is plastic film. For the majority of the year they will see their stated shelf life out without any problems but when they are nearing the end of their storage lift, in May and June, the green sprout will start to grow a lot faster and the bulbs will become soft if left too long. This green shoot is the bulb attempting to reproduce and does not affect the eating quality.
These are the most common onions available in the UK, and are seen as the staple product of the onion world. They are versatile and can be used in almost any savoury dish. Brown onions, in general, have quite a strong flavour but this can vary considerably depending on time of year and variety. For most of the year, the onions bought from any good supermarket are sourced from the UK but there are times during June and July when the quality of the stored UK onions are just not good enough and they have to be imported from the Southern Hemisphere.
General cooking, diced in Spaghetti Bolognese, sliced and fried for hot dogs or burgers, soups or stews, onion gravy, barbecued on kebabs
The British Onion season for brown onions starts towards the end of July, and runs through until the following June. The onions are harvested, cured and then placed in controlled atmosphere buildings to maximise quality throughout the storage period. We are always striving to extend the British season for as long as possible but never at the expense of quality. Large brown onions, often found packed 3 or 4 in a net in the supermarket, have traditionally been of Spanish or Chilean origin. More and more British onions are being used for these packs but there are still a large amount of Spanish and Chilean onions used. It is a popular misconception that Spanish onions in particular are milder, however studies show that this is not the case.