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Escallions

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Escallions

The escallion (Allium ascalonicum L). scallion with its silent e) is a culinary herb. Grown in Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, it is similar in appearance to the spring onion and leek, though said by Jamaicans to be more flavourful. Like these others, it is a (relatively) mild onion that does not form a large bulb.

The Jamaican name is probably a variant of scallion, the USA term used loosely for the spring onion, the leek, the shallot and the green stalk of the immature garden onion (Allium cepa). The spelling escalion is recorded in the eighteenth century; scallion is older, dating from the fourteenth century. The term escallion is now not current in English outside its Jamaican usage.

Escallion is an ingredient in Jamaican cuisine, in combination with thyme, Scotch bonnet pepper, garlic and allspice (called pimenta). Recipes with escallion sometimes suggest leek as a substitute in salads. Jamaican dried spice mixtures using escallion are available commercially. Fresh escallion is rare and expensive outside Jamaica.

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