Maui onions or "Kula-grown" onions are sweet, smaller onions that are grown on Maui. Their low sulfur and high-water content make them juicier, but less pungent and much sweeter than other yellow onions. Considered a local delicacy, Maui onions are so sweet, many eat them raw, like apples, but they are excellent in cooked recipes where you want a sweet onion taste, but don’t want the onion flavor to overwhelm the rest of the dish.
Many local markets carry Maui onions in season, along with other sweet varieties. They can be found year-round, but are more available in early April through June. Maui onions will keep for up to a month, if you keep them cool and dry.
Hawaiian farmers claim that a true Maui onion must be grown on Maui. The Maui onion grows best in the warm climate and rich red volcanic soil of Maui’s Mount Haleakala.
Many enjoy eating Maui onions raw, while others cook them, which makes them even sweeter. Maui onions are delicious with other vegetables for grilled kebabs, fried rings, used in soups and dips, sautéed, on hamburgers, and puréed into sauces.
Thousands of visitors each year come to the annual Maui Onion Festival to get a taste of this unique sweet onion and learn new recipes and taste new dishes. Chefs from Kā‘anapali restaurants compete to see who can create the best Maui Onion dish. The Maui Onion Festival takes place annually in Whaler's Village in Kaanapali, Maui.