Fall Harvest: Shallots

October 15, 2013 at 9:12 AM | Posted in vegetables | 3 Comments
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Shallots are harvested in late summer and into fall, and are at their sweetest when fresh. Shallots are a member of the allium family, just like onions, leeks, and garlic. While often thought of as smaller, milder onions, shallots are their own species and aren’t simply small onions. In most climates, shallots are planted in the fall to harvest the following summer and fall. Since shallots keep well if kept in a cool, dark, dry place, fresh shallots are often available into early winter.

 

 

Whole shallots

Whole shallots

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.

 

 
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 (about July or August in the Northern Hemisphere), although fresh shallots can now be found year-round in supermarkets. Shallots should not be planted on ground recently manured.
In Africa, shallots are grown in the area around Anloga in southeastern Ghana.

 

 
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 eye, resulting in production of tears.
Shallots appear to contain more flavonoids and phenols than other members of the onion genus.
Fresh shallots can be stored in cool, dry area (32 to 40 °F, 60 to 70% RH) for six months or longer. Chopped, dried shallots are also available.

 

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  1. Reblogged this on kellygetthin.

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