Shallots

Allium cepa, Aggregatum Group

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And “échalion” or long onion (Allium cepa)

Towering banks of pearly pink shallots virtually define the street markets of Southeast Asia, where more shallots are grown than anywhere else in the world. In France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, market stalls overflow with a subtle selection of these bulbs: from gray to red-copper, from grape- to plum-size. Shoppers buy them by the pound, not the ounce, and carry them home in baskets, not in little net sacks like party favors. In the lands where they grow, shallots are served as a vegetable—not only in sauces, their familiar culinary habitat.