When asked where onions are grown, the country that comes to mind would be India. But the unsung hero of onions is Italy. Italy has a large variety of onions; its most acclaimed onion is the cipolla di Tropea. The cipolla di Tropea is being exported abroad and making appearances in dishes worldwide, also known as the Rossa di Tropea.
The Rossa di Tropea is appreciated for its unique sweetness. The onions are hand grown on the clay cliffs on Mount Poro towards the sea between Cape Vaticano, Zambrone, Tropea and Briatico, in the provinces of Cosenza and Vibo Valentia.
The origins of the Tropea onion started in Calabria, tracing back to the Greeks who had discovered it with help from the Assyrians and Babylonians. The Arabs settled for some time in Tropea and perfected the cultivation of the onion from where it became widespread throughout the region.
So what makes the Tropea onion more special than other onions? Firstly its shape, the shape of the Tropea onion varies but generally its shape is elongated, but the onion can also be found in round and oval forms. The onion is a very deep purple colour and has an exceptional sweetness, delicate scent, lightness and enjoyable taste. These characterises derive from the morphological peculiarities of the soil and microclimate where it is grown.
And it is not just for the taste that the onion is becoming a favourite by food gourmets across the globe. The Tropea onion has many proven health benefits that have been recognised since ancient times. Recent studies have proven that this specific onion has superior health benefits than other onions, namely diuretic, hypoglycemic, antiseptic and anticancer functions. The onion strengthens the cells, tones the arteries and even lowers blood pressure. Pliny the Elder, in his “Naturalis Historia”, lists 30 ailments that can be treated with the onion, and medical science has confirmed its healing powers.
The Tropea onion is enjoyed raw, baked, boiled, fried and even has an onion marmalade. The onion is water rich and its outer lawyers are very thick. Tropea onions are starting to be used on a commercial scale outside of Italy.
M&P Engineering is based in the North of England. The food production, preparation and food packaging machinery manufacturers has been supplying machinery worldwide for over 50 years. Its most acclaimed product is the M&P onion peeler, which utilises a dry onion peeling process and processes up to 750kg of onions per hour. The benefit of a dry peeling process is that due to no water used in the process there is no waste slurry to deal with. M&P Engineering has sold its renowned onion peeling machines to countries in almost every continent, selling over 400 onion peeling machines worldwide.
The M&P onion peeling machine is very easy to maintain and is produces peeled onions comparable to hand peeled onions. There is very little waste, with waste figures similar to hand peeling and often better in some cases.
The onion machine is truly versatile, being incredibly simple to use on varying size onions without the need for change parts. No specialist knowledge is required to service and maintain the machine and easy access for cleaning ensures downtime is a minimum. The minimal labour requirement is a major advantage for manufacturers. The number of operators required is a minimum of two if the onions are fed automatically, one person to orientate the onions and one person to inspect and trim the onions – this results in greatly reduced staffing levels for the manufacturer.
The onion peeling machine is available in two sizes, one for larger onions and the small onion peeling machine for smaller and pickling onions. M&P also manufactures a Shallot Peeling machine which is unique to them as it does not hold the onion during peeling.
For more information about M&P’s onion peeler click here or call on 0161 872 8378.