culinary muscari - on topic

Jane McGary
Tue, 10 Feb 2009 15:54:31 PST
Diane wrote,

At 11:52 AM 2/10/2009, you wrote:
>Yesterday I was served some "balsamic onions" which were muscari
>bulbs.  They tasted good.
>They are from Italy, called cipollini, and are Muscari comosum.
>Cornucopia II says that M. comosum is really Leopoldia comosa, tassel
>hyacinth, and that it is also eaten in Greece.  Wild bulbs are
>preferred to cultivated ones.    I'm not growing that one.

Cipolline are not muscari bulbs, they are a variety of the cultivated 
onion (Allium). They are now increasingly seen in supermarkets here 
and starts can be purchased from Territorial Seed. They are small and 
very flattened in shape. They are tasty and rather hard to prepare 
because the stem tends to go all through the center and you have to 
cut it loose. The "balsamic" in the dish described probably was the 
vinegar used in the preparation.

Muscari comosum is eaten in Greece and I have tried it, but it was 
too bitter for me, even though they leach out some of the compounds 
in preparing it. Leopoldia is an older synonym for the "tassel" 
muscari species; it has been sunk in Muscari now.

Jane McGary

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