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Scallions and Spring Onions aren’t the Same Thing

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If, like me, you thought spring onion was just another way of saying scallion, you’re wrong, sort of. Spring onions are bulb (storage) onions harvested early when they have a small, tender bulb. They aren’t dried for storage and are milder than full-size dried storage onions. You’ll usually find them at farmers’ markets and occasionally at the supermarket. If picked very early, their bulbs are barely formed; such spring onions may be sold as green onions or (incorrectly) as scallions. While these very immature onions can be used interchangeably with scallions, a true scallion is actually a separate cultivar of the bulb onion, one selected to be tender, mild, and not produce a bulb. The white bottom part of a scallion stays straight and does not bulge outward. Both the whites and greens of scallions are used for cooking, and the greens are o en used raw as an herb. The greens of spring onions can be tough and may be best reserved for the stockpot.

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