July 3, 2012 (VANCOUVER, Wash.) — Burgerville is proud to announce Walla Walla Sweet Onion Rings are now available at all of its 38 restaurants for a limited time.

“The tradition continues today for many of our guests who look forward to Walla Walla Sweet Onion Ring time at Burgerville,” said Burgerville CEO Jeff Harvey.  “Just in time for the 4th of July celebrations.”

The story of the Walla Walla Sweet Onions, an heirloom crop, began more than a century ago in 1907 on the Island of Corsica, off the West Coast of Italy. It was there a French soldier, Peter Pieri, found a sweet onion seed and brought it to Washington’s Walla Walla Valley. This sweet onion developed over generations through the process of carefully hand selecting onions from each year’s crop, ensuring exceptional sweetness, jumbo size, and round shape.

“We grow the Walla Walla Sweet Onion ‘Super Colossals’ especially for Burgerville,” explained River Point Farms Director of Research, Technology & Quality Control Bill Dean, PhD.  “These special onions are extra large to achieve the huge rings Burgerville serves its guests. Their distinctive taste is mildly sweet while retaining a delicious onion flavor. Walla Walla Sweet Onions have only 10 rings per onion, compared to 12 rings in other varieties. This explains why Burgerville’s onion rings are so thick.”

“We know we’re not simply growing sweet onions, but cultivating a tradition,” continued Dr. Dean.

Once the onions arrive at each Burgerville restaurant, they are lovingly hand-cut, prepared, coated in a secret seasoning, cooked and served piping hot. Walla Walla Onion Rings are available at Burgerville in side orders of three rings or five rings, or as a three-ring seasonal burger basket option.

Burgerville also features a Walla Walla Sweet Onion Cheeseburger at this time of the year in order to use all of these especially delicious onions. The sweet onion centers are caramelized with a special spice blend and added to a 1/4 lb. Country Natural Beef patty with Tillamook cheddar cheese, lettuce, mayonnaise on a toasted wheat Kaiser bun. The caramelized Walla Walla Sweet Onion topping is a seasonal add-on to other sandwiches at breakfast, lunch and dinner – and on the Breakfast Burrito upon request.

“Thanks to these local onion growers, we have been serving Walla Walla Sweet Onion Rings at Burgerville for years as one of our signature menu items,” commented Harvey. “It looks like this year’s crop will permit us to have them available to our guests only until about Labor Day, so I encourage you to enjoy them while you can.”

About Walla Walla Sweet Onions

The Walla Walla Sweet Onion industry worked with the United States Department of Agriculture, to create Federal Marketing Order No. 956 and was adopted in May of 1995. The order designates Walla Walla Sweet Onions as a unique variety, and establishes a federally protected growing area (the Walla Walla Valley of Southeast Washington and Northeast Oregon). Sweet onions grown outside this production area cannot be marketed as Walla Walla Sweet Onions or face stiff federal penalties. For more, please visit sweetonions.org.

About River Point Farms

River Point Farms is America’s largest grower, packer, shipper and processor of onions; including yellow, white, red, sweet and organic onions.  Incorporated in April 2007, after merging the long-standing companies of American Onion and Rivergate Farms, River Point Farms is headquartered in Hermiston, Oregon.  River Point Farms is fully integrated, offering a total solution for a diversified customer base.  The company’s state-of-the-art growing and storage techniques ensure a year-round supply of whole, peeled and sliced onions to various foodservice, industrial ingredient and retail customers. River Point Farms controls the process from seed to shelf, providing the most consistent, reliable onion supply in the country.  The company’s unique approach to crop planning takes into account the needs of the customer when designing production, enabling an unparalleled service offering.