spring onion

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The original spring onion was simply an immature common onion, pulled in the spring before its bulb could develop (the first mention of it occurs in the magazine Garden in 1882), and that remains the most usual variety today, but the name is also applied to a completely different species, Alium fistulosum, which is the spring onion of Chinese cookery (the term formerly used for this in English was Welsh onion). Before spring onion came into general use, the usual term for these onions was scallion, but this is now largely restricted to American English (Americans in particular also favour the term green onion). In recent years the spring-onion crop has become virtually year-long, and in deference to this growers and greengrocers in Britain have taken to calling them salad onions.

Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink.

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