I asked my friend Lane, a seed researcher at OSU, about the scallion/bunching onion question. She says that “Scallions are varieties that have been selected for their straight, uniform and non-bulbing habit,” while “Bunching onions make a little bulb, not sure how large they would get if left alone.”
At GTF, we grow both bunching onions meant to be harvested small and soft, as well as baby spring onions, which are true onions (the kind that would develop the papery skin), just harvested young. Alliums are confusing!
Taxonomy aside, I use the tops of spring or bunching onions just like I use scallions--no matter what they’re called, both the root and the leaves of the plants in this family are edible, as long as they aren’t too tough and look crisp and appetizing.
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Most of the time with cooking and eating, the rules are clear.
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