culinary muscari - on topic

Jim McKenney
Wed, 11 Feb 2009 04:15:31 PST
Carlo wrote: Cipolline, cipollotto and cipolla all refer to onions.
Cipollina (-ine  
for plural) refers to scallions which come in round and flat forms."

Thanks for the Italian lesson, Carlo.

So, all those American seed catalogs and food writers who use the name
cipollini have either invented a new word, or do not mean it to be an
Italian word, or have changed the gender of the word. And they are all
copying each other's mistakes (or are similarly creative). Or, given the
diversity of Italian, is cipollini a regional form? 

When you write that scallions come in round and flat forms, that raises a
question. Do your round and flat refer to the bulb shape? If so, what is the
Italian term for the non-bulbing forms? It is the non-bulbing forms which I
know as scallions. The bulbing forms are to me green onions. 

This word scallion is disappearing from commercial use from what I can see.
By the look of it, it originally referred to shallots (whose old name was
Allium ascalonicum - you can see the origin of the word scallion in that). 

Does the practice of calling shallots scallions survive anywhere? 

And how should we pronounce cipolline? Che-pol-LEE-nay? And are cipollotto
the really big ones?

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone
7 where I'm trying to know my onions. 
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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