Southbourne Farm Shop Blog

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Onions from Roscoff

“Johnnies” is the name given to men from Roscoff who travel to Britain each year at the end of summer to sell their onions. The phenomenon began in the 19th century, first on foot, then on bicycles, as the Johnnies touted from door to door laden with onions to sell. In the early part of the 20th century there were more than 1,500 Frenchmen trading in this way; now there are around twenty remaining.

This week we have had our very own delivery of onion plaits from Roscoff, as well as plaits of shallots and garlic. Presented in this way, the produce is able to stay fresh for at least six months. The photo below shows our two visiting “Johnnies”. The onion, shallot and garlic plaits are available in our shop now.

Onion Johnnies