Red onion of Tropea: Her Majesty the “Red Queen”

Do you know Italy has its own queen too?

Her majesty “La Regina Rossa” , the Red Onion of Tropea, known as the “Red Queen” grows in the south of Italy, near the city of Tropea in the fields of “Capo Vaticano”in Calabria.

Red onion of Tropea

welcome to the south

“Welcome to the South”

The Red Queen is a national pride and you will always find it in any respectable Italian kitchen; This type of onion is so sweet that people can make marmelade out of it, would you ever think of making marmelade out of onions?! This is because of the Calabrian mild climate all around the year which gives this onion its intense sweetness ( especially the ones that grow nearer to the sea).

onions drying

This onion has a stronger aroma compared to other types with its inner part juicier and whiter. It comes in two shapes, torpedo and flat round.

red onion

red onion of tropea

So if you are a good fork  you must allow her Majesty the “Red Queen” into your kitchen as she really deserves a try. It is a good addition thinly sliced in fresh salads or as an accompaniment to meats and seafood, roasted or grilled and on top of pizza too.

In 2008 the European Union registered  the Red Onion of Tropea under its Protected Designation of Origin (DOP) mark.

If you love authentic and good quality Italian food always make sure the label carries the DOP mark which is  short for Denominazione di Origine Protetta (literally “Protected Designation of Origin”).

This certification makes sure that products are locally grown and packaged and it guarantees that the food is of high quality made by artisans and local farmers using traditional methods.

calabrian street seller

A traditional Calabrian street seller

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8 Responses to Red onion of Tropea: Her Majesty the “Red Queen”

  1. Julie @ HostessAtHeart

    I’ve seen garlic and onions hung in “Italian” fashion, but never knew about the story behind it.

  2. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Dear Alida,
    Great information on The Red Queen. My mom and I always have red onions in the fridge. We love it in a salad with greens, and also with a beets salad. The colors are so amazing and as you said it is much stronger in order and flavor. But that is what makes it good. I had no idea about that DOP mark. I will remember to tell my mom and friends. Love your photos especially the one of the traditional Calabrian street seller. The colors are so beautiful. Thanks for sharing your info on Italy’s Queen.
    Dottie 🙂

  3. gloria

    Lovely I love the colour Alida:)

  4. Louise

    Very interesting, Alida. I’m not sure if I have ever seen you “Queen” in our stores but, I will be on the lookout. We actually have a very sweet onion that grows here in the state of Georgia which is called Vidalia. It too is sweet enough to make marmalade. Many people say you can eat it like an apple. I have never tried it but have always been meaning to, lol…

    Thank you so much for sharing your treasure Alida…love the way those onions are hung. It reminds me of garlic, lol…

    • Alida

      Thank you Louise!

  5. la cucina di Molly

    Quanto le adoro le cipolle rosse, non mancano mai nella mia cucina, le inserisco spesso nelle insalate, anche perché fa bene alla salute! Un abbraccio!

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