Makó is a small Hungarian town only 10 km away from the Romanian border. One of the things that make Makó special is the famous onions that have been grown here for over a hundred years. The onions of Makó are considered a Hungaricum and are known all over the world. But what makes them so unique? Let’s find out.
Magyarorszagom was interested in why the onions from Makó are so well-known. Turns out that today’s onions are a result of careful breeding, the improvement of growing techniques, and the region’s special characteristics.
The onions from Makó have multi-layered, strong bronze-coloured skin closing tight at the top of the bulb, which enables longer preservation.
The onions used to be much smaller than today’s onions because it took a while to figure out the best growing method for the region’s extremely dry climate.
Makó’s climate is warmer than anywhere else in Hungary, with especially hot and dry summers. However, Makó was able to develop a unique method, which made their onions a unique Hungarian agricultural product.
Hungarikum.hu writes that the farmers of Makó are using the two-year cultural method, “which was a makeshift solution for the dry climate of the region. In the local climate, traditional onions could not grow to a sufficient size over one summer, hence the production period had to be extended with one more year.” Besides, most onions are grown by seeding, but the onions of Makó are grown by the propagation of onion sets. The secret is that the larger onion sets are chosen, heat-treated, dried, then propagated, because these will result in bigger onions.
The region also has special characteristics that make their onions unique, including the loess and alluvial soil with high nutrients and trace element content, the fresh air, and efficient water management.
The onions of Makó are even registered on the EU’s quality schemes, which “aim to protect the names of specific products to promote their unique characteristics, linked to their geographical origin as well as traditional know-how.”
Source: www.magyarorszagom.hu; www.hungarikum.hu; www.ec.europa.eu