As French botanist Pyramus de Candolle tells us in his book “Origin of cultivated species” (1853), onions originated in Asia (Iran and Afghanistan) The Ancient Assyrians already knew the medicinal properties of onions. The Egyptians gave a daily amount of onion, garlic and bread to the slaves building the pyramids. The Romans ate them roasted and called them “cepa”; they were sold in taverns, in 50-unit strings. Arabic writer Ibn-Al-Auwam tells us that they were already grown in Spain (in Córdoba and Valencia) in the 12th century. Later on, they were grown in the kingdoms of Castile and León during the 14th century. Swedish botanist Carlos Linneo gave them the scientific name of “allium cepa” in 1753 (allium, because they belong to the same family as garlic). The first records of onion exports from Valencia date from 1861. The “golden grain” or onion for export was developed in 1920. There is even a sect in Paris called “The Onion Worshippers.”


By harvesting season:

  • Onions for consumption in autumn-winter, grown from spring until the end of the summer (Bulb, Reca and the new hybrid varieties).
  • Onions for consumption in spring-summer, grown in late winter and spring (Babosa, Liria and Medium bulb).

By planting photoperiod:

  • Short day, very early onions
  • Neutral day, summer onions
  • Long day, winter or export onions
  Babosa Liria Grain
Water 94 93 93
Protein 0,46 0,44 0,43
Fat 0,02 0,04 0,06
Carbohydrates 4,12 4,23 5,38
Energy 83,4 81,7 85,68
Vitamin C 8 7 8
Vitamin a 5
Vitamin b1 33
Vitamin b2 0,2
Vitamin e 0,3
Iron salts 0,5
Diameter in mm
Import countries
115 United Kingdom
100-115 United Kingdom
85-100 United Kingdom and Germany (3b=90-100)
70-90 United Kingdom and Germany (4ª=85-90)
55-75 United Kingdom, France and Germany
45-60 Italy
30-45 Italy