Shallots are in the allium family, meaning they are related to white onions, red onions, and yellow onions, as well as leeks, scallions (green onions), and garlic.
What are shallots?
Shallots are small purplish-white root vegetables that are related to onions. They used to be in a class of their own, but were moved.
Like onions, they are shielded in papery skins and have many layers. However, raw shallots are smaller than typical onions.
They are still juicy and also can make you cry.
When peeled, some shallots are one big piece and others are in several pieces, like a head of garlic.
What do Shallots Taste Like?
They have been described as sweet, acidic, spicy, and sharp all at the same time, however all of these flavors are less concentrated and more delicate. It is like a light, mild onion with a hint of garlic, if you will. It does have a unique taste.
But also like onions, the flavor and levels of all of these elements will vary from shallot to shallot.
This means that onion haters might actually like shallots and they can be substituted in nearly any recipe that calls for onions.
They are mild enough that you can eat them straight up and don’t need to dilute with a lot of other flavors.
How Do You Store Shallots?
Store your raw shallots in a cool, dry place. They do best in dark places as well, which is why they used to be stored in root cellars. Now days, a pantry ot cabinet is best as long as it isn’t near heat.
They are also best in containers that breath, like a wire basket, versus a plastic bowl.
How Do You Eat Shallots?
Shallots can be eaten raw, sauteed, braised, baked, glazed, slow cooked- nearly any which way an onion can be eaten. They caramelize well and also help to flavor sauces and stews without being overly onion-y.