My old friend and partner-in-food-crime Leanboy 2000 has made some crazy claims in his day. But one sticks out in my memory. For some reason, he spent most of the early 90s (when "2000" still sounded futuristic) talking about Vidalia onions. He was fond of saying that these rare and pricey onions were so sweet, you could just bite into one and eat it "like an apple." I remember thinking, is he just rattling off the Vidalia ad slogan? Has he been drinking their marketing Kool-Aid, or has he really been eating these things like an apple?
Vidalia, like other "sweet" onions of the world, have less sulfur and more water than the average onion, emphasizing the sugar content. Some alchemy in the local soil down in Georgia makes this possible. They are one of the few onions to have what basically amounts to an appellation d'origine contrôlée. They even have their own official mascot, the Yumion.
Needless to say, curiosity eventually got the better of me and I forked over a fairly ridiculous amount of dollars per pound to buy some Vidalias. I felt pretty foolish as my teeth sank into the flesh and my mouth was filled was the taste of... an onion. A slightly mild onion, perhaps, but certainly not an apple, or an orange, or anything that I would describe as "sweet." In retrospect it seems obvious that Leanboy never even tried to eat a Vidalia "like an apple." He just like the way that sounded.