The Roscoff onion, under protected designation of origin status since 2009, is a vegetable grown on the northern coast of the Finistère department of Brittany in northwestern France. It is known for its “rosé” color, its fruity and almost sweet taste when eaten raw, and the fact that it almost melts in your mouth when cooked. Additionally, this onion will naturally remain fresh and tasty for an exceptionally long time after being harvested, far longer than most onions, and is full of vitamin C.
This variety of onion has been grown in the area around the village of Roscoff since the 17th century and can only be cultivated in areas with a very specific type of soil. This means that the onion cannot be produced anywhere else. They became particularly well known throughout Europe due to “Johnnies,” Breton onion vendors who would head out on bikes with Roscoff Onion strapped in strings around their bodies and bikes. This is thought to be the source of the stereotype of the biking French.
Roscoff onions are extremely versatile and can be enjoyed raw, such as in a salad, or cooked, whether in a soup cream of onion dish. This onion is highly associated with the small town of Roscoff where it became famous, and the town holds an annual festival celebrating the onion.