Coles has revealed the weird reason shoppers in Western Australia buy their onions without skin, after years of confusion of social media.
We’re less than 24 hours out from the Federal Election. Tensions are high. Sausages are preparing to be sizzled.
But there’s a greater mystery that’s plagued Australians that we need answering before we can vote with a clear conscience.
And that mystery, dear readers, concerns the onions of Western Australia. Onions that will hit barbecues in droves at voting booths across the state.
For years, Coles shoppers have sporadically taken to social media to question why the alliums of WA are naked. And by naked, I mean skinless. Piled in the fruit and veg section, shiny and completely peeled.
“Are we getting lazier or what #Australia?!” one outraged man wrote on Twitter.
“Found these peeled onions for sale. Enough to make you cry.”
Or, take this 2020 Reddit thread, titled: “What’s with the peeled onions, WA?”
To which fellow users wrote, “I’ve honestly never seen these sold in such a peeled direct on the shelf, elsewhere in Aus.”
“Honestly never seen onions being sold peeled like this in all my life living in Sydney. (Or elsewhere in Aus. Could be wrong?),” chimed in another.
“I don’t recall seeing them peeled like this in SA when I lived there either,” commented a third.
Asked why they were concerned about the onion’s skinlessness, the original poster declared they were “a little unsure about picking these up and stanking my pantry”.
“Or the fact that other folks have touched them with their clothes off. A little nasty,” they added.
Well, have I got news for you.
Turns out that, for once, it’s not because – as the aforementioned 2014 tweet maligned – we’re getting lazier, but because West Australian onions are simply … uglier than their east coast counterparts.
Harangued by news.com.au over the meaning behind the naked vegetables, a Coles spokeswoman offered up the answers we’d been searching for.
“Due to local growing conditions, onion skin quality differs to those grown in the eastern states,” she explained.
“So in WA, Coles sells red and white onions without the skin in a range that is unique to that state.”
The reason you won’t find the “skinless” onions in Australia’s other states and territories is because “the majority of the fresh produce sold in our WA stores is sourced locally from Western Australian farmers”.
“We’ve been offering these ‘skinless’ red and white onions for more than 20 years, and they are extremely popular with our customers.”
News.com.au understands it’s a similar situation at other grocery and fruit and veg stores in WA, including Woolworths, because it’s the only way retailers can get them to sell.
That isn’t to say, however, that West Australian customers seeking an unpeeled onion can’t find one at their local Coles: the supermarket giant’s 1kg Red Onion Prepacks still have skins on them and are available for purchase.
But at the end of the day, they’re less popular than their nudie cousins.
It’s true what they say after all: beauty is everything. And it really is what’s on the inside that counts.