My grandfather, now 86, has been a well-known farmer in the neighborhood when he was young. He had built his own business after the war and has done farming in his spare time as a hobby. As he gets older, he has less time spent in his field but I do still remember his produce were gorgeously fresh and fabulously delicious.
He grew various kinds of produces from daily vegetables to seasonal fruits. His leafy vegetables were very leafy and his watermelons were very sweet. His eggplants were unimaginably long and vividly purple. Strawberries we picked up directly from his field after school were memorably tiny and sweet. Before the lunch time, we as grand kids were called to be out to his proudly well-farmed field and dug vegetables right before meals served.
When I found these thick and fat green onions in the farmer’s market, my grandfather’s green onions were popped up in my mind. Green onions are one of representative vegetables in winter.
I just love that the white part is really white and the green part is pretty as well. The contrast between two colors are the gift from the nature and the specific climate these types of green onion need to be grown.
These fat green onions are unusual ones. The types of green onions you could buy at markets are thin and lean. These I bought are grown in the limited and special areas, Takayama.
The best season of these fat green onions is, of course, winter in early November to late January. The farmers know that these fat ones require a cold-snowy climate to be grown. The more colder, the more sweetness of green onions enhances. Actually, they are mentingly sweet when they are cooked with heat. Until just before digging and picking up, they are covered by loads of snow. We cook the fat green onions in our nabe (hot pot). Or we chop these finely, mix with miso paste, and eat as a dip on a bowl of rice. They go so well with rice and we could have seconds after seconds...
Benefits of green onions as yakuzen/medicinal food:
(Partial Reference: Wikipedia)
Besides these listed benefits, green onions can be the great anti-aging ingredients. Green onion has a function to control fat in the blood and keep us warm. I know as a woman that we tend to suffer from being cold and lower body temperature even being in the fully heated room. Our hands and toes are always cold no matter how sunny and warm it is. Eating green onion can help us away from this trouble and make us have a good night sleep. Having a good quality of sleep is the essential condition to be beautiful from inside and help fighting against aging.
The farmer I met at the market says that you can keep green onions wrapping in the wet newspaper and leave them outside (not in the refrigerator). That way, you can keep them fresh for at least a week.