UK grower launches sweet, tear-free red onion

A grower has launched what is being called the UK's first sweet red onion which causes neither tears when chopped nor onion breath when eaten.

Alastair Findlay, a member of South Eastern Produce, launched the onion with lower pungency levels in partnership with Asda earlier this month.

More than 40 tonnes of Sweet Red hit selected stores last week, with the 500g packs going on sale at £1.

Findlay has spent 20 years fine tuning the vegetable, tasting and evaluating over 400 bulbs a season to cultivate the new sweet red onion.

The new bulb is juicier, boasts a milder flavour and has a crunchier texture than regular red onions but without bitterness.

Asda's veg buyer Andy Wareham said: "Like the USA, the UK has a sweeter palate than most so will appreciate the same tangy flavour without the strong acidity of some onions.

"Before the 1990s there were no red onions grown within the UK but due to the popularity and versatility of the variety they now account for 20 per cent of the total onions sold within the UK."

Findlay is looking at creating an improved version of the variety for launch next year. "There are so many interesting flavours just waiting to be discovered," he said.

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