Varieties

Brown Onions

This is the most common onion variety grown.  The papery skins on these onions are golden to brown in colour and the flesh is white.  Brown onions have a strong flavour so are usually cooked rather than eaten raw.  These onions have a-low water content so they store well in cool, well-ventilated place that is preferably dark. 
Varieties include Pukekohe Long Keeper; Early Long Keeper; Kiwi Gold. 

Red Onions

Red onions are gaining in popularity.  Red onions have red to burgundy coloured papery skins and red tinged flesh.  The shape of red onions varies with variety – Spanish type red onions are large round onions; Californian type reds are flatter in shape and have a milder flavour; Globe red onions have a stronger pungency and better storage qualities.

Sweet Mild Onions 

Sweet mild onions are a soft onion, with light golden coloured papery skins and white flesh.  The term softness refers to the increased water content of the flesh of sweet onions, which means they need to be handled with care otherwise they will bruise – it does not infer poor quality.  These onions have a milder flavour than brown onions so they can be used raw in dishes.  Sweet mild onions do not have a long storage life like the brown onions.

White onions

White onions as their name suggests have white papery skins and flesh. They tend to be round in shape and can be the size of an orange.  White onions are less pungent than brown onions and slightly sweeter flavoured.