Foods A-Z: Onions

Onions come in many varieties and types. They also come in different sizes, shapes, colors, and forms.

Onions are also known as bulb onions and as the common onion. These vegetables are members of the Allium family of flowering plants. Other members of the allium family include shallots, garlic, scallions, leek, and chives.

Onion Varieties

There are a few main varieties of onions with each variety sometimes containing heirloom onions, and other times not.

Storage Onions:

Storage onions are laid out to dry after harvesting, meaning they will keep in the pantry for several months when stored appropriately.

  • White Onions
  • Red Onions
  • Yellow Onions (Brown Onions)


Softies aren’t as hardy as storage onions and should be kept refrigerated when you have storage in mind.

  • Sweet Onions (Vidalia, Walla Walla)
  • Green Onions
  • Spring Onions
Spring Onions

Little Guys:

Little Guys should be stored in a cool, dry place such as in a cupboard inside of a brown paper bag.

  • Shallots
  • Cipollini (Cipolline) Onions
  • Pearl Onions

Popular Types of Onions:

  • Egyptian Onion
  • Shallots
  • Supersweet Onion
  • Walla Walla Onion
  • White Onion
  • Yellow Onion (Brown Onion)
  • Potato Onion
  • Bermuda Onion
  • Red Onion
  • Vidalia Onion
  • Spanish Onion
  • Pearl Onion (Baby Onion)
  • Cipollini Onion
  • Green Onion

Onion Substitutes:

Vegetables Similar to Onions:

Onions are root vegetables that come from the Allium family. This includes other vegetables such as garlic, shallots, leeks, scallions, and chives. They are all notable for having a distinct taste of either onion or garlic.

Garlic is from the same family of plants as the Onion.

Onion FAQs:

What onion has the strongest flavor?

Yellow Onions are considered to have the strongest flavor when cooked. When eaten raw then the strongest flavors come from Yellow, White, and Red Onions.

What’s the difference between yellow onions and brown onions?

Yellow Onions and Brown Onions are names for the same type of onion, meaning there is no difference at all.