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French Shallot
French Shallot

General Information

Etymology: Like the word "scallion," shallot comes from the Old French escalogne, from the Latin Ascalonia caepa (onion of Ascalon).
Also called red shallot or gray shallot.

Originating in Turkestan more than 2000 years ago, the shallot was considered a sacred plant by the Persians and Egyptians. It takes its name from the city of Ascalon in the land of the Philistines (now Ashkelon in Israel), where it was grown in ancient times. During the time of Charlemagne it entered French gastronomy and as long ago as the Middle Ages it was grown in household gardens. It has a slightly irregular shape, with the base not quite in line with the top. It is covered with a thin peel like an onion.
 
Medicinal and nutritional properties   
These members of the allium family are generally better tolerated than onions: their flavor is more delicate and subtle and they are credited with promoting good digestion. Their numerous micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals and trace elements), even if consumed in small quantities,  contribute to the nutritional completeness of our diet. In particular, they contain selenium which has recognized antioxidant properties.

Nutritional values per 100 g

Calories: 75; carbohydrates: 17; fat:  0; water: 90.5, protein: 1.3, fiber: 3 g. Rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, selenium, vitamins A, B and C.

Buying
Firm bulbs, dry peel. Market: August to May.

Storing
Shallots will keep for a long time if kept in a fairly cool place, away from humidity and light. Once they are peeled they can be stored for 3 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. 

Preparing
Cut off both ends and remove the peel. However you don’t need to get your handkerchief out as you do when peeling onions!

Cooking
Slowly cooked until very soft, shallots are a pure delight. They are a perfect accompaniment to a roast or cold meats. Peel the shallots. Sweat them in butter; sprinkle with a pinch of sugar and salt and add just enough water to cover. Simmer over low heat until the liquid has completely evaporated, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Serve warm or cold. Add some to a quiche filling: they’re delicious paired with crisp bacon bits!

Enjoying
Shallots temper the acidity of a fresh tomato consommé and add a novel flavor to parsley soup. They can also stand in if you’re short a leek when preparing a soup for dinner.
 

 

 
Recipes

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Collaboration: Canetti Conseil and Cerafel Bretagne

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