Difference Between Leeks and Scallions

Leeks vs Scallions

In order to execute a perfect recipe, one needs perfect ingredients. While some ingredients may be replaceable with another, some should not be done so as doing so would affect the outcome of the dish considerably. It is because of this reason that one must be well aware of the many differences that exist between different ingredients. As some may be easily mistaken with another, a good cook must always make it a point to carefully go through one’s list of ingredients prior to getting started on a dish.

What are Leeks?

Leeks can be defined as a vegetable that belongs to the genus Allium, the same family as garlic and onion, but in the sub-family Allioideae of family Amaryllidaceae. The edible part of the leek is the leaf sheath that is sometimes mistaken for a stem. It does not form a bulb-like onions, but rather forms a long cylinder of sheathed leaves that emerge out of the soil. Once established, leeks are hardy plants that are known for their ability to survive any weather.

The leek group is scientifically known as the Allium ampeloprasum although there may be several leek cultivars belonging to this group. The most popular of such types are the summer leeks, which are harvested in the season, whereas they are smaller than the overwintering leeks which carry a stronger flavour.

Featuring a mild onion-like taste, the light green and the white base of the leek is used for many cooking purposes. Mostly it is used for adding flavour to stock while it is also used boiled, fried or raw, in salads.

What are Scallions?

Scallions, also known as spring onions in England, have a variety of other names. Green onion, salad onion, onion stick, green shallot, table onion, baby onion, yard onion, precious onion, gibbon, long onion, syboe, or scally onion are some of these names. It is one of various Allium species featuring hollow green leaves but without a fully developed bulb which is used as a vegetable, cooked or raw. Scallions are milder than onions and are used raw as parts of salsa, salads and Asian recipes. Scallions are also popularly used in soups, seafood and noodle dishes, stir-fries, curries or in sandwiches.

What is the difference between Leeks and Scallions?

Leeks and scallions are two of the most widely used ingredients in the culinary world. However, as both belong to the Allium species, it is very easy to confuse one with the other.

• Leeks are a vegetable and can stand alone by themselves. Scallions are mostly used for garnishing purposes and as a flavouring agent.

• Leeks respond well to braising, sautéing, etc. whereas scallions have a tendency to turn slimy in such situations.

• Scallions are more bulbous in nature. Leeks do not form bulbs.

• Leeks, although is similar in flavour to onions, have a much milder flavour than scallions.

• In terms of having it raw, leeks are not a preferred raw option whereas raw scallion is a popular choice among many.

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