Like garlic, shallots are formed in clusters of offsets with a head composed of multiple cloves. Their skin color can vary from golden brown to gray to rose red, and their off-white flesh is usually tinged with green or magenta. Shallots are much favored by chefs because of their firm texture and sweet, aromatic, yet pungent, flavor.
The shallot is a relative of the onion, and tastes a bit like an onion, but has a sweeter, milder flavor. They tend to be more expensive than onions, especially in the United States. They can be stored for at least 6 months.
Shallots are extensively cultivated and often used in cooking, in addition to being pickled. Finely sliced deep-fried shallots are used as a condiment in Asian cuisine.
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