Distinctions

18 10 2006

The word for scallion is cong (pronounced tsoong). Scallions are the same as green or spring onions. Onions are literally White Man’s Scallions (yáng cong). Shallots are Small White Man’s Scallions (xǐao yáng cong). Chives, however, are jǐu caì, though in French the chive (ciboulette) is a diminutive of the spring onion (ciboule). The Chinese call their leeks (poireaux) Chinese Chives—not to be mistaken for the Flowering Chive, whose blossoms (jǐu caì hua), lightly stir-fried, are a popular side.

As  the Bard would have it, “Eat no onions nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath.”