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Green onion, scallion or shallot: What do you call this vegetable?

Social media users can't seem to decide what this vegetable is called.
What would you call this green vegetable?
What would you call this green vegetable?Peeradon Warithkorasuth / Getty Images

It's a scallion. It's a green onion. It's a shallot. No, really, what is it?!

The latest viral social media debate has Twitter users trying to determine the name of one green vegetable, and the responses are pretty entertaining.

It all started when Twitter user @George___Looney posted a photo of the lanky veggie along with the caption, "Mum wants to know, what does everyone call these?"

Well, it looks like the Twitter community has some pretty strong opinions on the matter, and the post quickly went viral and racked up a plethora of responses.

It quickly became apparent that what you call this green vegetable typically depends on where you live.

For example, one Twitter user from New England said the region refers to them as scallions.

Across the pond in the UK, one social media user said folks call them spring onions.

Another social media user agreed that the term varies depending on what country you're in.

In Scotland, people apparently have a different nickname for the common vegetable: "syboes."

A couple of people also added another term into the mix: table onions.

Twitter users couldn't seem to come to an agreement on what to call the vegetable, but many of them had clear opinions on whether or not they like to eat it (the majority do).

But there were some naysayers, too.

What is this vegetable really called?

TODAY Food reached out to Cornell AgriTech’s resident vegetable specialist, Steve Reiners, to put this debate to rest and find out what this vegetable really is.

"People would be correct in calling these either scallions or green onions. It seems like in most supermarkets they are called ‘green onions’ but people often call them scallions, especially when they are harvested from the garden," he explained. 

The vegetable tends to grow in clumps and grows like weeds, according to Reiners, and the bulbs always look the way they appear in the Twitter picture: with a slight flare at the base.

"Scallions may be a bit smaller/younger than green onions but that’s about it. They are also perennial plants and will come back year after year, after year. In fact, sometimes they can be hard to get rid of," the professor told us.

Spring onions, on the other hand, are totally different.

"Typically, they are planted in late summer (or) over winter and are harvested in the spring. They actually have small bulbs, while scallions/green onions will not develop a bulb," Reiners said. "Flavor-wise, they all lack the pungency of large, dry onions. Generally scallions/green onions are slightly milder than spring onions."

And as for folks who like to call this green vegetable "shallots," that's just plain wrong, according to Reiners.

"Shallots are bulbs, smaller than onions and much milder. But they are definitely not scallions, green onions, spring onions, or a sybo," he said.