Onion Red Creole

In stock

£0.75 / pack(s)

Red Creole is very special heirloom beauty, a red onion happy in warm dry summer weather: in fact it is recognised as tolerant to heat and drought (an example where heirloom can win over modern varieties).   With a clear spicy & pungent bite fresh or mellowing to sweetness when caramelized and it stores really well – not to be missed    Price for 60 seeds


The history behind this variety

There has been a general move towards sweeter onions, it is said that that is a change in our tastes or perhaps our palettes are affected by the hidden increase in sugar in our diets which then drives the urge for more sweetness: a vicious circle if you like.  Red Creole only sweetens on cooking otherwise it is spicily pungent and its drop in popularity has caused it to drop out of mainstream production and, since the 1980’s it has been under increasing pressure as a home garden choice.


Climate resistance is becoming part of the conversation about food… the hunt is on for varieties that can cope with climate extremes.  Areas reporting heat and drought conditions are particularly vulnerable (economic, social & humanitarian) to the disruption of food production and provision.  Modern varieties are being researched through breeding programs… and behind these are traditional heirloom varieties.  These old varieties have been pushed aside in recent times and yet these varieties have remained in cultivation for a reason… sometimes they specifically suit the climate in a particular area.


Red Creole has been the onion of choice is parts of East Africa since 1918 when an American missionary introduced the variety, recognising that an onion that could cope with heat and drought in the deep south might also grow well in places such as Tanzania and Kenya.  This variety can be traced back to the 1850’s in Louisianna, and a first mention in seed catalogues, and became the standard right up to the early 20th century. The rise of large scale growing and mechanical harvesting led the development of varieties that would flourish uniformly, that could be manipulated by regimes of irrigation and enrichment, and that could be grown speedily for faster returns.


Now there are different concerns and varieties such as Red Creole are, once again, being recognised as having their place.  With the increasing number of warm dry summers in the UK that place could be your garden.

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