While shallots and onions are related, they differ basic ways and cooking applications vary by dish. Unlike regular onions, which grow as single bulbs, shallots grow in clusters, more like garlic. They are a bit sweeter than regular onions, and their flavor is subtle. Shallots are a good option for seasoning in raw applications like vinaigrettes or salads. They add an oniony flavor without too much punch, or in slow roasted or braised dishes, where their sweetness can really enhance a dish.
Shallots come in a few different colors. Pale purple with brown skin is the most common. The French gray shallot is rarely available and considered the ultimate in shallot superiority. This shallot has a robust flavor with a pear shaped bulb with grayish-blue paper skin that is thicker than traditional shallots. While plain shallots are widely available, the banana shallot, (torpedo shallot) can be found specialty grocers, or easily found in Europe.
Shallots are best stored in a cook, dark, dry space in a drawer or panty. They need air to keep them fresh, and should be stored separately from onions or potatoes to prevent spoilage! #chef #restaurant #foodservice #taste #delicious #foodie #cooking #flavor