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Name Variations

  • Chinese onion
  • stone leek
  • cibol

About Shallot

Wikipedia Article About Shallot on Wikipedia

Shallot, as the word is commonly used, or eschallot in some countries, refers to two different Allium species of plant. The French grey shallot or griselle, which has been considered to be the "true shallot" by many, is Allium oschaninii, a species which grows wild from Central to Southwest Asia. Other varieties of shallot are Allium cepa var. aggregatum (multiplier onions).

The name of the shallot derives from the name of the city of Ashkelon (Latin ‘Ascalon’) in ancient Canaan.

Unlike onions where each plant normally forms a single bulb, shallots form clusters of offsets, rather in the manner of garlic.

Shallots are extensively cultivated and much used in cookery, in addition to being excellent when pickled. Their flavor is perhaps more delicate than that of onions, perhaps more intense. Certainly it is distinctive. Finely sliced deep-fried shallots are used as a condiment in Asian cuisine. Shallots tend to be considerably more expensive than onions, especially in the United States where they are almost exclusively imported from France.

Shallots are propagated by offsets, which, in the Northern Hemisphere are often planted in September or October, but the principal crop should not be planted earlier than February or the beginning of March. In planting, the tops of the bulbs should be kept a little above ground, and it is a commendable plan to draw away the soil surrounding the bulbs when their roots have taken hold. They should not be planted on ground recently manured. They come to maturity about July or August, although they can now be found year-round in supermarkets.

Like other onions, when sliced raw shallots release chemicals that irritate the eye, resulting in tears. See onion for a discussion of this phenomenon.

In Australia, the Scallion plant is also commonly referred to as a shallot. Allium oschaninii is commonly referred to as a French Shallot

Shallot Recipes