Saturday, March 12, 2011

Jersey or Pink Shallot

There are two types of shallots, which are related to onions. But rather than one bulb, the shallot has a cluster of small bulbs attached at a common base. The gray shallot is a long bulb covered with gray skin and white/purplish flesh. Some believe it is better, it has a softer flavor, but it does not keep as long. The pink, or Jersey, 
shallot has several types that all have a copper tint with yellow or purple bulbs, 
are more rounded, and have a stronger onion flavor. 
They are usually used as a condiment to enhance other foods, but can be cooked alone. 
They are sort of in-between onion and garlic: typically sweeter than an onion and less pungent than garlic. In 1001 Foods You Must Taste Before You Die, it states they are "heavenly oven-roasted until caramelized and served as a vegetable." 
It also states that the Crusaders returning from the Holy Land during the Middle Ages brought them back to Europe where they became "particularly prominent in French cuisine." I've tried them on two separate occasions recently, once in an oxtail soup with root vegetables and once baked in the oven. I've found them to be very good in inducing tears and often very strong and powerful, much more so than the sweet Maui and similar onions that I particularly like. When I baked them I probably did not cook them as long as I should have. 
My own experience places them closer to an onion, than garlic, although some of the ones I had looked much like large garlic cloves. They were good, but when it comes to it, I'll probably either use onions, or garlic, or both, rather than shallots which are more expensive, and to me, do not impart a taste that is significantly different or better. 


    would you knidly help with some more info or where to get it!!

  2. Jimbo, I'm not going to be of much help to you. I'm sure you can find lots of information on-line. Good Luck