Shallot and spring onion

Shallot and spring onion

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Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

These members of the onion family are both known by each other’s name in different parts of the world. Although a misnomer, what are bought in some parts of Australia as shallots are really non-bulbous fresh green onions.

Shallot: The true shallot or eschalot is often considered the queen of all the onions. Its flavour is intense without being too pungent. Shallots usually grow in clusters, although they can be single, and have long stems and a purplish flesh; the skins can vary from a greyish to a golden-copper colour – these are called golden shallots. The shallot is much used in the cooking of northern France to flavour sauces, and in steak, fish and vegetable dishes.

Spring Onion: Two types of fresh spring onion are available. The first is slim and bulbless, except for a tiny bulge above the root, and is sold complete with its long, tubular green leaves. It may also be called green onion or scallion. Both the white and green parts are used. It is mild, delicious in salads and their dressings. It is also used to great effect in soups, sauces, savoury butters, casseroles, omelettes and other egg dishes, and in many Chinese dishes as both ingredient and garnish.

The second type of spring onion has a shiny, round white bulb about the size of a walnut, on a long, green stem. This onion is excellent sliced into salads, glazed whole in butter and used to give a delicious onion flavour to soups, stews, sauces, fish, meat and poultry dishes. It is superb with other vegetables such as fresh young green peas (see Petits Pois à la Française).

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