Photos: Bermuda Onion Day Celebrations

May 19, 2014

The island celebrated Bermuda Onion Day on Saturday [May 17] from 10.00am to 4.00pm at Carter House in St. David’s, featuring historic displays, paintings and, of course, Bermuda onions.

Introduced to the island in the early 1600s, the sweet and succulent Bermuda onion was first exported to the east coast from St. George’s in 1847.

Onions quickly became Bermuda’s major export crop, with hundreds of farmers realising the market potential. By the middle of the 19th century, Bermudians became known as “Onions” and Bermuda itself was widely referred to as “The Onion Patch.”

Slideshow with photos courtesy of Rick Spurling:

Following World War I, although the onion export from Bermuda started again, the U.S. imposed higher import duties, slowing it down considerably. More over, by that time a farming community in Texas began developing their own similar onions, even calling them Bermuda Onions in order to sell and export them more easily.

In the 1930s, the Bermuda Trade Development Board tried to curb that trend by sending postcards to their overseas buyers that stated, “It is the flavour of a genuine ‘Bermuda’ that is so different.”

But the campaign was an exercise in futility and the era of Bermuda farmers exporting onions came to an end, with tourism replacing agriculture as the island’s economic mainstay. However, the “Bermuda onion” nickname endures.

Click to enlarge photos:

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  1. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    Are you going to dig up some of our golf courses to plant Bermuda Onions for export ?