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Release date: 12/28/2004.
* * *
After morning snow
onion shoots rise in the garden
like little signposts

--Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), from Haiku

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Green Onions

(Allium fistulosum)

Also called scallions, spring onions, and stone leeks, these tasty members of the onion family do not form bulbs. Why are they called "scallions"? Actually, because their name derives from the Latin caepa Asclonia--the name of Ashkelon, the Biblical port city in Palestine of Samson and Delilah fame where these onions, shallots, and chives were reputed to first bloom.

At the same time, green onions are the oldest and most used ingredient in Chinese cooking--and they are the ONLY member of the onion family commonly used in Japanese cooking, called negi--much longer than leeks, but skinny..