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April 15--  The Athens Banner-Herald reports an Athens woman has been named the official spokesperson for the Vidalia Onion.

Athens food writer, cookbook author and cooking expert Rebecca Lang recently was named the official Vidalia onion spokesperson for 2013.

{mosimage}Throughout the sweet onion’s growing season, which lasts through late summer, Lang will travel the country making in-store grocery appearances, promote the onions via social media and develop recipes in conjunction with the Vidalia Onion Commission’s Taste of Summer contest, a promotion that offers prizes for top recipes incorporating Vidalia onions.

Lang grew up in Telfair county, located on the western edge of the Vidalia onion belt in south Georgia. She can remember her farmer father planting Vidalias at least one season.

“Vidalias were always part of everything,” Lang said. “You saw onion fields as much as you saw the blue sky.”

Lang has long promoted the onion through her food writing and TV appearances, so much so that for Lang, Vidalia onions are synonymous with regular onions.

“So many of us chefs are so passionate about the ingredients we use,” Lang said. “So, being that the Vidalia is the greatest sweet onion on the planet, I’m promoting whether I’m the spokesperson or not.”

Lang just finished up a book tour promoting last year’s “Around the Southern Table,” published under the Southern Living banner, and she said she’s looking forward to acting as “the ambassador” for the vegetable with a big reputation.

“It’s such a big part of the economy in Georgia,” she said. “It’s our state vegetable.”

Vidalia onion season officially starts Monday. May is National Vidalia Onion Month.