Spring Onions vs Shallots

Nutrition // 12WBT Staff

It’s an age-old debate in kitchens, restaurants and supermarkets across Australia: what’s the correct name for this delicious variety of onion that brings flavour to so many dishes?


It’s one hot topic in the 12WBT Forums too! Read on as we crack the case…

Firstly, it’s a country-specific thing

The debate of dual-named vegetables usually spans different countries, and is evident in arguments surrounding things like: aubergine versus eggplant, or courgette versus zucchini.

But this confusion is also happening in our own backyard, and if not resolved now, things could turn ugly. We’ve all witnessed the rockmelon vs cantaloupe debate of recent years. Now the spring onion/shallot saga has come to light in the 12WBT office. Who knew such confusion ran along state lines?

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The verdict

We spoke to experts, did some (very thorough, of course!) research and asked our members. The general consensus? It depends what Aussie state you live in.

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In NSW, the long, green, thin variety of onion (as shown above) is called a shallot. The more bulbous variety on the left is knows as a spring onion. 

In many other states, such as Queensland, it’s the other way around. It makes for a confusing conversation!

Note: in the US they call the green, thin variety (the type we at 12WBT call shallots) green onions or scallions. But that’s a whole separate discussion!

What do you call spring onions and shallots? Enter the debate in the comments below! If you have another food debate you’d like us to investigate, let us know.


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