Difference Between Onions and Scallions

Key Difference: Onions are bulbs that grow underground and are attached to a tall stalk-like plant. Onions grow in multiple layers, which can individually be peeled off. Scallions are sort of premature baby onions that have not yet fully grown yet. They are also green onions, spring onions, salad onions, green shallots, etc.

Onions and scallions are common vegetables that are used in almost every cuisine, but in different ways. Both onions and scallions are popularly used raw as well as cooked and are healthy to consume.

Onions are the most common used vegetable in almost all cuisines; they are most popular in Asian and Indian cuisines. Onions are bulbs that grow underground and are attached to a tall stalk-like plant. Onions grow in multiple layers, which can individually be peeled off. Onions are available in different colors, such as red, yellow and white. Depending on the color, the sharpness and taste of the onion varies. Yellow onions, which are most commonly used, have a sharp, tangy, spicy and pungent full flavor. They are used in various dishes such as curries, sandwiches, salad etc.

In addition to culinary, onions are also used for medical purposes. They are believed to help in treatments of various conditions; from common colds to heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and other diseases. They have chemical compounds that have anti-inflammatory, anti-cholesterol, anticancer, and antioxidant properties. Onion skins have also been used in dyes and many cultures believe onions to be an aphrodisiac. Onions are considered healthy and are recommended as a part of a nutritious diet.

Scallions are sort of premature baby onions that have not yet fully grown yet; some scallions like the Welsh onion do not grow bulbs even after mature are also known as scallions and are primarily grown as scallions. Scallions are also known as green onions, spring onions, salad onions, green shallots, etc. They are tall, green, hollow spouts that have small white bulbs at the end of stalk. Scallions are commonly used raw in salads and as garnishes, but they can also be sautéed and used in curries (similar to onions). Scallions have a more a leafy taste with a slight onion flavor.

Similar to onions, scallions also offers various health benefits such as they are low in calories (making them perfect for diet food and salads). It also contains flavonoid anti-oxidants, plant fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Scallions are believed to be helpful for treating common cold, stimulating the respiratory tract, helping expelling phlegm, stimulate sweat glands and promote sweating. They can also inhibit cancer cell growth, helping stop growth of cancer cells. Shallots are also recommended as a healthy vegetable to incorporate in a daily diet.

 

Onions

Scallions

Kingdom

Plantae

Plantae

Order

Asparagales

Asparagales

Family

Amaryllidaceae

Amaryllidaceae

Subfamily

Allioideae

Allioideae

Genus

Allium

Allium

Species

A. cepa

A. cepa var. aggregatum

Description

Big bulbs which grow underground. Grows as an individual mature bulb per plant. The bulb, when cut open, reveals multiple layers.

Looks like a small white bulb at the end with a long hollowed tube of leaves sprouting from the bulb. The word scallion has been traced back to ancient Greek word, ‘askolonion’.

Color and types

Common onions are normally available in three colors: yellow, red, and white. Yellow onions, also called brown onions, are full-flavored and are a reliable standby for cooking almost anything. The red onion is a good choice for fresh uses or in grilling and char-broiling. White onions are the traditional onion used in classic Mexican cuisine. They have a golden color and sweet flavor when sautéed.

There are different types of scallions; The Welsh onion does not form onion bulbs even when they mature and is grown exclusively as a scallion. The term ‘Scallion’ is also used when premature onions or shallots are harvested, before or when slight blubs have formed.

Flavor

Sharp sulfuric flavor, pungent, persistent, even irritating taste, but when sautéed, onion becomes sweet and much less pungent.

Mild onion flavor with a much less sharp taste.

Benefits

Phenols and flavonoids, known as vitamin P and citrin, which have anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-cancer, and anti-allergic properties.

Low in calories; contains flavonoid anti-oxidants, plant fiber, minerals, and vitamins.

Uses in cooking

Fresh cooking, raw in cold salads, as a thickening agent for curries, pickled onions, as a side serving with fish and chip.

Can be used raw (such as in salads or as a garnish) or can be sautéed and added to dishes or they can also be crushed to make sauces.

Uses in medicine

Wide-ranging claims have been made for the effectiveness of onions against conditions ranging from the common cold to heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and other diseases. They contain chemical compounds believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cholesterol, anticancer, and antioxidant properties, such as quercetin. Preliminary studies have shown increased consumption of onions reduces the risk of head and neck cancers. Consuming ample amounts of onions is very beneficial to women because onions help destroy osteoclasts, a bone cell that breaks down bone and causes osteoporosis. They are also used to heal blisters, boils, and even sore throat.

Scallions are believed to be helpful for treating common cold, stimulating the respiratory tract, helping expelling phlegm, stimulate sweat glands and promote sweating. It can also normalize blood pressure, increase appetite, and prevent diarrhea. It is rich in sulfur and can kill fungal infections, it inhibits cancer cell growth. It can also help ease sore throat, swollen feet and runny nose.

Other uses

Onion skins have been used for dye. Many believe them to be them to be an aphrodisiac. Onions were once prescribed by doctors to help with infertility in women.

Scallions are popular as a garnish in certain cuisines as well as an important in dishes to help treat cold.

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