|Cultivar group||Aggregatum Group|
The shallot (Allium cepa var. aggregatum, or the A. cepa Aggregatum Group) is a botanical variety of the species Allium cepa, to which the multiplier onion also belongs. The shallot was formerly classified as a separate species, A. ascalonicum, a name now considered a synonym of the currently accepted name. The genus Allium, which includes onions and garlic as well as shallots, is now classified in the plant family Amaryllidaceae, but was formerly considered to belong to the separate family Alliaceae.
Shallots probably originated in Central or Southeast Asia, travelling from there to India and the eastern Mediterranean. The name "shallot" comes from Ashkelon, an ancient Philistine city, where people in classical Greek times believed shallots originated.
Indian names for shallots include kanda or gandana or pyaaz (Hindi, Marathi, Marwari and Punjabi), gundhun (Bengali), cheriya ulli or chuvanna ulli (Malayalam) and chinna vengayam (or sambar vengayam in the Chennai region) (Tamil). In the Kashmiri language, shallots are called praan. In Nepal, shallots are called chyapi (छ्यापी).
In Southeastern Asia, shallots are called bawang merah kecil (small red onions) in Malay, brambang in Java, and hom (หอม, fragrant) in Thai. In Cambodian (Khmer), shallots are called katem kror hom, where katem or ktem is a species of onion, and kror hom or hom meaning "red", describes their colour.
The name shallot is also used for the Persian shallot (A. stipitatum), from the Zagros Mountains in Iran and Iraq. The term shallot is further used for the French gray shallot or griselle (Allium oschaninii), a species referred to as "true shallot"; it grows wild from Central to Southwest Asia.
In Australia, the term shallot can also refer to scallions (from various species of Allium), while the term eschalot, derived from the French word échalote, can also be used to refer to the shallot described in this article. The usage of "shallot" for green onions is also found among English-speaking people in Quebec, with stress on the second syllable.
Description and cultivation
Like garlic, shallots are formed in clusters of offsets with a head composed of multiple cloves. The skin colour of shallots can vary from golden brown to gray to rose red, and their off-white flesh is usually tinged with green or magenta.
Shallots are extensively cultivated for culinary uses, propagated by offsets. In some regions ("long-season areas"), the offsets are usually planted in autumn (September or October in the Northern Hemisphere). In some other regions, the suggested planting time for the principal crop is early spring (typically in February or the beginning of March in the Northern Hemisphere).
In planting, the tops of the bulbs should be kept a little above ground, and the soil surrounding the bulbs is often drawn away when the roots have taken hold. They come to maturity in summer, although fresh shallots can now be found year-round in supermarkets. Shallots should not be planted on ground recently manured.
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||301 kJ (72 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||3.2 g|
Link to USDA Database entry
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Shallots are used in fresh cooking in addition to being pickled. Finely sliced, deep-fried shallots are used as a condiment in Asian cuisine, often served with porridge. As a species of Allium, shallots taste somewhat like a common onion, but have a milder flavor. Like onions and garlic, when sliced, raw shallots release substances that irritate the human eye, resulting in production of tears.
In Europe, the Pikant, Atlas and Ed's Red types of shallots are the most common. In parts of southern France, the grey type is grown widely.
In Indian cuisines, the distinction between onions and shallots is weak; larger varieties of shallot are often confused with small red onions and used interchangeably. Indeed, most parts of India use the regional name for onion interchangeably with shallot (Maharashtra, for instance, where both are called kanda). The southern regions of India distinguish shallots from onions in recipes more often, especially the much loved tiny varieties (about the width of a finger); these are widely used in curries and different types of sambar, a lentil-based dish. Shallots pickled in red vinegar are common in many Indian restaurants, served along with sauces and papad on the condiments tray. Indians also use it as a home remedy for sore throats, mixed with jaggery or sugar. In Nepal, shallots are used as one of the ingredients for making momo. In Kashmir shallots are widely used in preparation of Wazwan Kashmiri cuisine, as they add distinct flavor and prevent curry from getting black which is a common problem with onions.
In Iran, shallots, called mousir (موسیر), are used in various ways, the most common being grated shallot mixed into dense yogurt, a combination served in almost every restaurant when one orders grills or kebabs. Shallots are also used to make different types of torshi (ترشی), a sour Iranian side dish consisting of a variety of vegetables under vinegar, eaten with main dishes in small quantities. Shallot is also pickled -called shour (شور) in Persian- along with other vegetables to be served as torshi.
In Southeast Asian cuisines, such as those of Brunei, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Indonesia, both shallots and garlic (bawang putih, white onions) are often used as elementary spices. Raw shallot can also accompany cucumbers when pickled in mild vinegar solution. It is also often chopped finely, then fried until golden brown, resulting in tiny crispy shallot chips called bawang goreng (fried onions) in Indonesian language, which can be bought ready-made from groceries and supermarkets. Shallots enhance the flavor of many Southeast Asian dishes, such as fried rice variants. Crispy shallot chips are also used in southern Chinese cuisine. In Indonesia, shallots are sometimes made into pickles that are added to several traditional foods; the pickles' sourness is thought to increase one's appetite.
It is one of the pungent vegetables generally avoided by Buddhist vegetarians.
- Fritsch, R. M.; N. Friesen (2002). "Chapter 1: Evolution, Domestication, and Taxonomy". In H. D. Rabinowitch and L. Currah. Allium Crop Science: Recent Advances. Wallingford, UK: CABI Publishing. p. 21.
- information"Allium ascalonicum".
- Green, Aliza (2004), Field Guide to Produce: How to Identify, Select, and Prepare Virtually Every Fruit and Vegetable at the Market, Quirk Books, p. 256,
- "Dictionary: eschalot". Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
- "Montreal public market site". Montreal public markets. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- Hunt, Marjorie B. and Bortz, Brenda (1986), High-Yield Gardening, Pennsylvania: Rodale Press,
- Seabrook, Peter (1976), Complete Vegetable Gardener, London: Cassell,
- Sinnadurai, Suppiah (1973), Shallot Farming in Ghana, New York: Economic Botany,
- "Kitchen Dictionary: shallot". Scripps Networks. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
- Yang, J., Meyers, K. J., van der Heide, J. and Liu, R. H. (2004). "Varietal differences in phenolic content, and antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of onions". J. Agric. Food Chem 52 (21): 6787–6793.
- "Onions, Garlic, and Shallots". Virginia Cooperative Extension. May 1, 2009. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
- "Shallots, Freeze Dried". McCormick & Co. Inc. 2011. Retrieved March 13, 2013.