Scallions are a species derived from onions and it’s similar to it in taste and production methods. The difference is that it’s much milder than onions and therefore has more versatile culinary uses. The bulbs of these plants are not fully developed as they are in onions and it’s these bulbs that are used for culinary purpose, even though the greens are also edible.
There are a few varieties that vary in terms of taste and the production process and they are all easily produced in the US.
- They are not the same thing as green onions
- They don’t make you cry when chopping
- Scallions lose Vitamin C as they mature
Scallion Buying Guide
The color is the first thing to look for when buying scallion bunches. The leafs should be green and appear to be fresh and long. The bulb itself should also look fresh and be clearly white and plump in their appearance.
Both of these could be used in salads but they are mostly bought for the bulbs and that’s what you should look for the most when making a purchase.
Scallion Production & Farming in Texas
The same rules apply for growing scallions and green onions and all that makes Texas a good place to grow green onions are also responsible for the successes the state is having in growing scallions.
The plant is rather versatile and it requires nothing more than a sunny spot. They could be grown in zones 3 to 9 in the US. They are technically a perennial plant but they are not grown as such. They will require regular water so going overboard with the sunny spot for them means you’ll need to spend more water.
Sometimes the seeds are started indoors so that you make sure they can be transplanted, it takes five to six weeks to prepare them for transplanting and that should be done before the first frost. The seeds should be sow up to 12 inches deep.
Harvesting onions is what their name depends on:
Green onions: Regular onions harvested before they form a bulb
Spring onions: Regular onions harvested when the bulb is smaller than a quarter
Scallions: Varieties that never form a bulb
Scallions need to be fertilized on a monthly basis and you should apply a thick layer of mulch to accomplish that. It should be removed in spring when the temperatures rise.
As much as 50 different pesticides are used on scallions and many of them stay on the plant after it was harvested so that’s something to be aware of when buying.
It’s believed that onions originated in central Asia, some however, thing that they were first used in what’s today’s Pakistan and Iran. It’s widely believed that they are grown for dietary purposes for over 5000 years and that they have become a part of every culture and cuisine across the world.
Scallions are less used in the US than in Europe at least that was the case until recently. Now when there’s more of a focus on healthy food there’s more demand for scallions as well. They are still sold to farmer’s markets, restaurants and better shops.
Scallions are easy to pack and move. They are mostly moved in open cardboard boxes and brought to the stores that way, sometimes even sold in the same way. They are usually tied in bundles and bought and sold like that, so that you have a few bulbs in each bundle.
They are often spayed with water in the stores so that the green leaf parts of the scallion appear to be fresh and last longer.
All parts of the scallions can be eaten and they are mostly used in salads. They have a milder taste than onions and there are more ways to use them. Beyond salads you also use them for frying if you want to add a punchier taste to your dish.
This starts by removing the top of the bulb and the green leafs of the plant. The leafs should then be cut to manageable size and the bulbs slice thin so that they aren’t too spicy as a whole. It’s best if the bulbs are cut in circles, but there are other ways as well.
Scallions should be stored without cleaning or washing them. They should be put in a plastic bag and possibly wrapped with a paper towel. That bag can then be kept in a fridge, for about five days without the scallions losing they fresh appearance or taste.
It’s sometimes important to change the paper towel a few times in order for this to work.
Scallions are mostly a garnish to the main dish and used to bring out the flavors and to make the main dishes richer.
Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°. Toss scallions, garlic, ginger, chiles, oil, and salt in a shallow 2-qt. baking dish to combine.
Turn garlic cut side down, then roast vegetables, tossing 2 or 3 times, until golden brown, very tender, and crisp around edges, 60–70 minutes. Let cool slightly, then add vinegar and toss to coat.
Scallions are very low in calories; 100 g of fresh leaves provide just 31 calories. Nonetheless, they contain many noteworthy flavonoid anti-oxidants, plant fiber, minerals, and vitamins that have proven health benefits.
Being leafy greens, scallions naturally carry more plant-derived antioxidants, and dietary fiber than their fellow bulb (Allium) members like onions, shallots, etc. 100 g fresh spring onions provide 2.6 g or 7% of daily recommended levels of fiber.
Scallions, like leeks, possess proportionately fewer thiosulfonates antioxidants than that in the garlic. Thiosulfonates such as diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide, and allyl propyl disulfide convert into allicin through enzymatic reaction when its leaves subjected to crushing, cutting, etc. Laboratory studies show that allicin decreases cholesterol production by inhibiting the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme in the liver cells. Further, it also found to have antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal activities.
When Are Scallion in Season in Texas?
To find out when Scallion are in season in Texas, please check the seasonal chart below. Why is this important? We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas now.