Readers Ask: What are scallions? They appear to be a green onion. Are they the same?
Scallions are most commonly referred to as green onions in the United States. They are a variety of young onions with a long, thin white base that has not yet developed into a bulb and long straight green stalks that look like giant chives. Both the white base and the green stalks are commonly eaten.
The tops of these green onions may be used as a substitute for chives in many recipes. Scallions have a milder flavor than mature onions, but a bit stronger than chives.
Although scallions (green onions) may be cooked, either whole or chopped, they are perhaps most enjoyed fresh as in salads, as a crudite or as a last minute topper for sauces.
Scallions are often confused with spring onions, but they are noticeably different. Spring onions have a larger round bulb at the base, like the traditional onion. They are basically immature onions, and are sold with their green tops intact, much like green onions or scallions. Spring onions have a stronger flavor than scallions and are not generally interchangeable in most recipes due to their larger bulb.
Green onions, scallions, and spring onions are all a part of the Allium horticultural genus. Around the world, they are also called bunching onion, wild onion, onion stick, baby onion, and long onion. They are also often confused with shallots, which look more like garlic than onions, and also have a faint garlicky flavor.
Although not recognized as such by the Food and Drug Administration, many herbalists tout the healing powers of green onions. They are used to treat the common cold and are thought to inhibit bacterial and fungal infections.
Scallions are an important part of the Jewish Passover Seder.
How to Re-Grow Scallions
Don’t throw those root ends away! You can easily re-grow scallions at home from scraps. Save 1-1/2 to 2 inches of the root end when preparing them to eat. Place the root ends in 1 inch of water and set in a sunny place, such as a windowsill. Change the water every 4 to 5 days. Within a week, you should see beautiful shoots of green rising from the root ends. If you let them grown long enough, you will end up with the same size green onions as you originally purchased.
Once the green sprouts show, you may also plant them in soil.
Scallions / Green Onions Photo ©2021 GettyImages