Difference between shallot and onion. What is the shallot and what are the differences with the onion. Representative species and advice on cultivation and use in the kitchen.
There are many recipes that require the use ofshallot but what exactly is it and what are the differences with onion? In this article we will try to shed some light.
Shallot, what is it
Theshallot, also saidbad luck, as well as onion and garlic, is a plant of the Lilaceae family.
The name of the botanical species isAllium ascalonicum. The name designates both the origins of the plant and its bulb. The name of the species, in fact, seems to derive from the ancient Mediterranean port of Ascalona, located in the southern part of today's Israel, north of Gaza.
How to distinguish theonion from shallot?
To distinguish it shallot from the onion you just need to look at the bulb. All varieties of shallots resemble onions, but unlike them they have a composite and not a single bulb. Thebulb of the shallot it is made up of several bulbils.
The different bulbils of the shallot (usually two or three, rarely four) are kept together in a single tunicate bulobo. Once peeled, the tunicate bulb of theshallotdoes not exceed 5 cm in diameter.
As well as onions, also someshallotsthere are several varieties that are distinguished by the color of the external guani which can be:
- purplish green
Among the most varietiessophisticated we point out the zebrune with an elongated bulb and a typical sweet and delicate flavor.
Very popular is the Italian variety, the shallot of Romagna PGI.
- rosy red
Among these are the most varietiesvaluable like Jersey shallot with a swollen spherical bulb.
They are typical of Holland, with rounded bulb and body, similar to onion.
Even the shape of thebad luckit can diversify, in fact the bulb can be spherical, rounded or elongated. The flavor of the shallot, although generally more delicate than that of the onion, can be strongly influenced by the growing area, so we can have shallots with a strong and pungent flavor as that of an onion. Similarly, among onions, there are sweet varieties with a more delicate flavor.
The botanical name of the onion isAllium cepa.
Recipes: shallot or onion
Now that we have clarified the botanical differences betweenshallot and onion, let's see how to choose between the two.
In our recipes, it is preferable to usescalono or onion?
Many chefs, but also newbies, prefer to use itshallotbecause it has a milder flavor than onion.
The flavor of the onion is stronger and more decisive while the shallot manages to be, at the same time, delicate and strongly aromatic.
The flavor of the onion as well as that of the garlic tends to remain in the mouth and prevail over other flavors. On the contrary, the shallot tends to weigh down the breath less.
Returning to the question,shallot or onion? If you want to give a strong flavor to your dish, choose the onion, perhaps favoring excellent varieties such asred onion from Tropea. If, on the other hand, you want an equally direct but more delicate flavor, choose the shallot.
For theshallot cultivationthe same rules of onion cultivation are followed.
For popularity we point out the seeds of the Zebrune shallot, popular for its use in programs such asMaster Chef,appreciated by starred Chefs.
Advice toshallot cultivation:
- Sowing depth: 6 mm
- Germination time: 10 - 14 days with an ideal temperature between 20 - 24 ° C.
- Leave a space of 25 cm between the rows.
- Leave a space of 8 cm between one plant and another.
- It is harvested between the end of July and August.
- Collect on a dry day.
- Sow sparingly to avoid excessive thinning.
- Sow in well-drained soil in a sunny position.
- Use a soil fertilized with organic matter.
- Leave theshallotscollected on the furrow to allow the sun to dry them perfectly. They are excavated on sunny days and collected from the ground after two days.