Shallots may look like onions and, while they’re from the same family of plants, they offer plenty of unique qualities and are part of what makes one of our recent menu items (pork loin with mushrooms and shallots) taste great. Let’s take a look:
More delicate and mild than the flavors onions typically bring, shallots are loved for their subtle sweetness. They can add mellow flavor to a dish without watering it down.
Shallots are similar in texture to onions but they break down easier when cooked and almost melt when caramelized, making them a great base for sauces.
While onions can be white, yellow, green, or purple, shallots are typically pale purple with coppery-pink skin. There is a variety of highly regarded French shallots that are gray, but they’re hard to find.
• Size and Shape
Shallots look like a smaller, oblong-shaped onion and grow in clusters like garlic. There is a variety known as “banana” shallots that are much longer and straighter.