Banichan Onion

Vegetables and vegetable preserves - Bulgaria

The Banichan onion (Allium cepa) is a large bulb (7 – 10 cm in diameter) with many layers. It is spherical to heart-shaped, with a burgundy red, dry outer layer covering purple-red juicy layers and a whitish-pink center. The flavor is intensively oniony, with a sweet and lightly pungent taste. These onions are grown in Banichan village, near the town of Gotse Delechev in the Blagoevrad district of southwest Bulgaria. It is quite well known in the region, and is referenced in popular wisdom and sayings, including: “Onions and beans should be bought from Banichan.” Successful cultivation of Banichan onions requires even watering. The onions are grown both for home consumption and for sale at local markets. However, as the production is currently done mainly by older producers, who have difficulty cultivating large areas to ensure regular supplies, this onion risks extinction if its cultivation is not continued by future generations of farmers.