WALLA WALLA - They are serving all types of sweet onion creations at this weekend's 26th Annual Walla Walla Sweet Onion Festival, including the traditional but not so popular caramel-coated onion.
"It tastes like an onion coated with caramel," Jessica McCoy, 23, said as she held her half-eaten caramel onion and walked down Main Street with two friends.
McCoy, who is from Cincinnati, was curious, as was her friend, Christine Slocombe, 24, of Amherst, Mass.
Slocombe, who admitted to not liking onions, still took a bite of the famed Sweet Onion Festival treat.
"It was good. I think I still need the caramel to cover the taste of the onion," Slocombe said.
As for the third friend, Mindy Nolan, 23, of Touchet, she wasn't even willing to take a bite.
"The sweet onion caramel thing isn't for me," she said.
But there are plenty of other foods that incorporate the famed Walla Walla Sweet Onion at this weekend's festival.
They include deep fried onion pearl, onion burgers and onion sausage. There are also creations of smoked pulled pork and sausage with grilled onions, pancit with onions, chicken adobo with onions and a first at this year's festival, albacore tuna with onion.
As for the lemonade and ice-cream stands, they went onion-less this year. But at the Maui Juice Company smoothie booth, owner Mark Hoke of Richland said he at least gave the Walla Walla Sweet Onion a shot two weeks ago. But it wasn't sweet enough, so it didn't make the cut.
"I tried making one with onion in it, and I am afraid to say I tasted it all day," Hoke said.
The tasting and buying of Walla Walla Sweet Onions will take place most of today at the second day of the festival from 9-4 p.m. The event is free to the public and takes place on Main Street between Third and Fifth avenues.
As an added treat, food adventurer and TV show host Bob Blumer of Food Network Canada's show "Glutton for Punishment" will attempt to break two Guinness world records for fastest onion peeler and fastest hot onion eater.
Blumer will attempt to break those records at the festival between noon and 2 p.m.
Alfred Diaz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8325.