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Gibbols, Cibols or Welsh Onions


or Ciboule, Gibbol, Cibol

The sprouting stalks of a non-bulbing variety of onion Allium fistulosum. Described in the OED as "in appearance intermediate between the onion and the leek. Now little cultivated in Britain." The name later applied to onion-stalks or sprouts when used as salad components. The flowers are also edible.

Cibols or Welsh Onions are rarely grown commercially in England (though relatively commonplace in France and parts of East Asia) but are readily available from specialist seed suppliers.

The name comes, not from Wales, but from the old English 'welisc' meaning 'unusual'.

'Gibbol' is a Somerset dialect name.

Known at least since 'The Vision of Piers Plowman' by William Langland, c1390 (Langland 1390) "Chibolles cheruelys, and ripe chiries monye."

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