Red Onion of Turda
Vegetables and vegetable preserves - Romania
The red onion of Turda (Allium ceapa) is called caepa de Turda in its local language. It is a semi-round to round, medium sized onion. It has a dark pink, cherry colour, with a pleasant and not very strong smell, and a sweet taste. A delicious combination in Romania is the thin slices of the red onion eaten together with a piece of hearth bread and thin slices of smoked pork fat from the Bazna pig. The red onion of Turda is produced in Romania throughout the towns of Targu Mures, Valea Ariesului, Cluj, and, of course, Turda. In this area, there is a culture of red onion production that dates back more than 100 years. The red onion's role in local cuisine and social life is very important. It is used in countless dishes, and connects producers and consumers through an annual festival of the onion. However, today the red onion of Turda faces extinction due to the introduction of modern F1 hybrid seeds, aging producers with no one to inherit their traditions, and a difficult business market affected by low import prices and problems in finding new markets for this treasured vegetable.