In a week where the local media is covering gasoline price increases, proposed MTA fare hikes, and looming rent hikes, none of them have bothered to mention the one inflation item that is on all our minds: WTF is going on with the crazy prices on white onions?!? I don’t know about you, but I can’t cook without my beloved white onions. Pico de gallo, salsa verde, salsa roja, salsa, arroz mejicano, cebolla y cilantro, onion jam, cebolla con sal; it all requires white onions, and lots of them. So when I recently noticed that a bag at Superior was about to cost me $14 at the going rate of $1.99 a lb and since b.la readers want fresh reporting, I decided to put on my huaraches and do a bit of gumshoe work. Err, make that tireshoe. Follow along for the pungent details!
At first I thought the high prices might be due to some sinister doings of the anti-immigrant mob, but after my usual United Statesian breakfast of onion rings and coffee I decided nobody could be that spiteful. Besides, onions are one of the top 5 vegetables in the US: you all love onions, you really do! Then I found this alarming bit of news from the California Farm Bureau Federation:
Produce experts say dry onion prices are expected to remain high in retail stores until at least June. Supplies from the Pacific Northwest are shrinking and quality is reported only as fair. Prices will remain high until harvest begins in the San Joaquin Valley. Onions from the California desert are behind scheduled and harvest isn’t expected to begin until May. Weather has caused onion crop quality problems in all growing regions, including Texas where the crop was severely damaged.
Oh rats. And pretty much everywhere in my Northeast LA neighborhood, the price seems to be around $1.99 /lb, way up from the usual two or three lbs for a buck.
My usual stop, Big Saver, is anything but: $1.99 a pound.
Vons has them for $1.99, though they put them on spy card special at $1.49, screw that! Besides, everyone knows onions from the fancy markets are always heavier then the cheapo places. I think it has something to do with water retention, but check this..
One onion weighs a whole pound? Que, me ves cara de menso? Let’s move on.
Rancho Market has them at $1.79, still high.
Bi-Rite has them for $1.69, maybe cuz they’re all moldy and black. Buy? Wrong!
And finally, the winner for lowest priced non-rotting onions is Produce Market! $1.49! Still too rich for my blood, maybe I’ll just dabble with them yellow onions on the left, guess I gotta cut back on the luxury staples!
Yup, it’s just called Produce Market, or at least that’s what the sign says. 2612 N. Broadway if you want to make the trek for some not-so-great savings.
So what’s the price of onions in your neighborhood? What about on the fancy Westside? Or are most of you not part of the cooking class and could care less?
PS. Seems the LA times finds it fit to cover the cost of onions in India yet ignores the plight of onion lovers in its own backyard!