Fine Monquelin Onion

Ark of taste
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Spontaneous mutation of the Amonquelina variety occurred in the Benifaió area at Miguel Calabuig’s fields. It is an almost round onion, with no flattening, slightly extended along its longitudinal axis, white, medium sized, flavor not very sharp with a sweet note, pleasant to the palate, very tender, with abundant micro-fibres that disappear in the mouth when eaten. It is suitable for use in dishes where the flavour of onion and not its presence is important. It readily turns transparent at low temperatures. At the height of its popularity, in the post-war period of shortages, it was often used as the main ingredient of “onion paella”, which was a dish prepared using onions, oil, garlic, a spoonful of tomato, a handful of beans to balance digestion, salt, saffron, water and rice. It was one of many poor people’s paellas of the time; now it is a dish revived as a starter and much appreciated by gastronomes. This variety is replanted to produce the highly regarded cebollots in Valencia or calçots in Catalonia, thanks to its twice yearly crop: in the second part of its cycle if it is left to mature, the flower blooms and gives seeds for the next sowing. This is a light leafy plant cultivated as follows: After the previous harvest, which is recommended to be legumes, the field is fertilized with the green remains of the previous crop and very mature compost is added if necessary, then the ground is prepared by the sun throughout the summer until planting. By September, seedlings are grown from the seed in another field prepared with loose, clean soil; the plants are allowed to grow until November when they are transplanted to the field exposed to the sun. The plantation frame is made with light furrows about 50 cm apart, and in every ridge three rows of plants are planted, one at the top and the others half way down either slope. The field is watered immediately after moving the plants and then every 15/20 days depending on the weather. The plant is very easy to grow but does not compete well with other plants; therefore, the field has to be clear of weeds, so that diseases and pests can be avoided. It is not recommended to use herbicides, weeds should rather be removed by hand. Chemical or synthetic fertilizers should not be used, because less developed but hard and compact plants are less attractive to pests. The plant has enough fertilizer from the manure added to the soil before planting.This variety is traditionally cultivated in the Benifaió area.

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Comunidad Valenciana