“Bermuda Onion Day” Event Set For May 18th

March 10, 2019

Bermuda Onion Day is set to be held at Carter House in St. David’s on Saturday, May 18 from 12.00pm to 4.00pm.

In an online post, The Carter House and Museum run by the St David’ Island Historical Society said, “Onion Day is 18th May. A celebration of Bermuda Onions with St Davids food and refreshments, onion eating contest, largest onion competition, and two recent acquisitions will be unveiled at 3pm – both historic. One to do with onions in St David’s and another, a local painting of St David’s early 1900s. Come and see!”

Bermuda Onion Day March 2019

Introduced to the island in the early 1600s, the sweet and succulent Bermuda onions 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”.

Following World War One, although the onion export from Bermuda started again, the US imposed higher import duties slowing it down considerably. More over, by then a farmer community in the Texas started developing their own onions and even called them Bermuda Onions to sell and export them easily.

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

But it 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.

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