Skip to content

Scallions vs. Green Onions: Is There a Difference?

    Scallions vs. Green Onions Is There a Difference

    Determine whether they are identical or whether scallions and green onions differ.

    Green onions are a common vegetable. The name itself is straightforward and descriptive. What about scallions, though? Is it the same as green onions? And, if so, why does a different name know them? Why are scallions used in some recipes instead of green onions?

    Some foods are simply more difficult to understand than they need to be. Essentially, you’re looking at a labeling distinction. The same can be said for scallions and green onions. However, there may be a slight difference sometimes, making the onions more similar to chicken stock vs. chicken broth.

    So, how can you have two things that are sometimes identical and sometimes not? It all comes down to the plant. Several plants can be classified as green onions, but only one can be classified as a scallion. Here is everything you need to know about scallions vs. green onions.

    Scallions vs. Green Onions

    Scallions and green onions are derived from the same plant, Allium fistulosum and are interchangeable. Essentially, it is up to the farmer to decide what to call them when they are sent to market. Long green stems of the plant are sliced up in recipes that call for scallions or green onions. A white bulb is located at the plant’s base.

    When Are Green Onions Different Than Scallions?

    The confusion stems from some green onions being derived from a different plant. The spring onion is introduced at this point. A spring onion, or allium cepa, is a small white onion. The white bulb at the end is larger and rounder (like an onion) than the green onion’s base. However, when spring onions are harvested early, the green stems can be used to make green onions.

    Is There a Difference in Taste Between the Two Green Onion Plants?

    Green onions and scallions from the allium fistulosum plant have a sharp and peppery flavor. However, the flavor is not identical to green onions harvested early in the spring onion season.

    Green onions, or spring onions, have a stronger flavor than scallions. This means that a little goes a long way when spicing up a dish with onion. However, the plant’s bulb or small white onion has a sweet flavor and can be used instead of sweet yellow onions.

    Because the flavor intensity varies between the two green onion-producing plants, you’ll want to select the one that best suits your tastes. If you want a stronger green onion flavor, look for stems with a round white or reddish bulb at the end. Otherwise, look for narrow and flatter stems, which are the most common.

    If the onions are labeled as scallions, their flavor will always be sharp and peppery. However, if they are labeled as green onions, look at the bulb size to determine how strong the flavor of the greens will be.

    Summing Things Up

    Green onions and scallions are, for the most part, interchangeable. They are most commonly derived from the plant Allium fistulosum, which has a flatter and narrower white base. This is what is commonly labeled as green onions or scallions at the grocery store.

    The only time green onions differ from scallions is when they are harvested early from a spring onion, also known as allium cepa. Although the stems are also considered green onions, they have a stronger flavor.

    Read more: 4 Genius Ways To Cook Matzo During Passover