Shallot — The term Shallot is used to describe 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 that grows wild from Central to Southwest Asia. Other varieties of shallot are Allium cepa var. aggregatum (multiplier onions), also known as A. ascalonicum.
This ambiguity is further confused by confusion with scallions, also known as spring or green onions. In some countries green onions are called shallots, and shallots are referred to by alternative names such as eschallot or eschalotte.
The shallot is a relative of the onion, and tastes a bit like an onion but has a sweeter, milder flavor. They are more expensive than onions and can be stored for at least 6 months.
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 pickled. 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.
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.