French Grey Shallots
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The French Grey Shallot (has the scientific name Allium oschaninii) and is thought of as a “True Shallot” or “Échalotte Traditionnelle” because they are propagated vegetatively. They are sometimes also commonly called, Gray Shallots, Grey Shallots, or Griselle Shallots.

Gray Shallots are known for their superior taste and flavor and are the most sought after Shallot variety in France. Official French Grey Shallots may even have a certification of their Protected Geographical Indication. They are generally smaller than the French Red Shallot with a tougher skin.

Season

April through August in North America. The shorter storage period for French Grey Shallots, makes them something of a seasonal vegetable. See Smart Kitchen’s General Shallot Information Resource for more on the Shallot’s season.

Availability

French Grey Shallots are available year round.

Cultivation

True Shallots like The French Grey Shallot are historically propagated from bulbs (vegetative propagation). See Smart Kitchen’s General Shallot Information Resource for more on the Shallot’s cultivation.

Production

See Smart Kitchen’s General Shallot Information Resource for more on the Shallot’s production.

Varieties

See Smart Kitchen’s General Shallot Information Resource for more on the Shallot’s varieties.

Purchasing

Cured Shallots are most often found at retail in small mesh bags, windowed boxes or trays holding 5-7 French Grey Shallot bulbs each. They are often about twice the price of their cousins, small White Onions. French Grey Shallots are typically found at retail less often. Their availability tends to follow the Shallot seasons.

When selecting French Grey Shallots, look for firm, dry Shallots that are completely covered in papery skin. The skin should be smooth and wrinkle free and the Shallots should be firm and heavy for their size. They should have no black spots or mushy soft spots. Sprouting shallots are an indication of age, can taste bitter in use, and should be avoided.

Shallots need some time to develop their flavor. The younger and smaller the Shallot of a given variety is, the milder it will taste. As we mention in Seasons above, there are two Shallot seasons in North America. The primary season begins in the spring and runs through late summer. Fresh Shallots are most easily found in season. Because of counter-cyclical planting it is possible to find Cured Shallots all year long.

Shallots can also be purchased as Dried Shallots or Freeze Dried Shallots. These preserved Shallots are usually Chopped, Flaked or even in a powder form when they are packaged for sale.

Storage

The first and best way to get the most out of your French Grey Shallots is to try and purchase only what you will need for use in the short term. Shallots are not a staple in most homes, though many can argue that they should be.

That being said, if you overbuy or find a deal, you can store Fresh Shallots in the refrigerator for about a week. Refrigeration does encourage sprouting though, but don’t worry. If your French Grey Shallots sprout during storage, just remove the somewhat bitter Shallot sprouts before use. In fact, some cooks use the Shallot tops as they would use Chives.

The fresh French Grey Shallots you bring home can also be Peeled (as you would Peel Onions) and then Chopped and placed in an airtight container to be frozen for up to 3 months. However, they will lose their crunch during the freezing and thawing process. Their texture will be more like that of a Sautéed Shallot.

Cured French Grey Shallots, those most of us see in the produce aisle, have a shorter useful shelf life than most other Shallots. They should be stored in a cool, dark, well ventilated place. Some folks store them in hanging mesh baskets. They should last a few months.

Culinary Uses

Because they are an Allium, French Grey Shallots have a flavor that is reminiscent of Onions or Garlic, but the French Grey Shallots are milder and sweeter than either.

Once prepped (as you would Peel An Onion), French Grey Shallots can be SlicedChoppedMincedDiced, etc. as needed by the chef or the Recipe. Remember that French Grey Shallots contain sulfur compounds, like Onions, and can cause reflex tears when cut.

Raw French Grey Shallots are edible but, like Onions and Garlic, they are infrequently eaten Raw because they are fairly pungent. Most often French Grey Shallots are cooked to break them down and Caramelize them so that they can become integral components of creamy hot Sauces (like Sauce Bearnaise,)  Pan SaucesBeurre BlancsCompound Butters, or other dishes that benefit from a shot of Allium flavor. Dropping Shallots into the Roasting Pan of a Roast Chicken is a good example. Smart Kitchen’s recipe version is Roast Chicken with Rosemary, Shallots & Garlic.

French Grey Shallots are most often Roasted or Sautéed, but they can also be SweatedBraisedPan FriedDeep FriedStewed, etc. To learn more Culinary Uses visit Smart Kitchen’s General Shallot Information.

Portion Size

Allow 1-2 T of French Grey Shallots per person.

Pairings

Fresh Basil, Dried Basil, Bay LeafBlack PepperWhite PepperCaraway SeedsCardamom, Cayenne, CilantroCinnamonClovesCorianderCumin Seeds, Curry, Dill, Mace, MarjoramMintPaprikaFlat Leaf ParsleyCilantroRosemarySaffronSageKosher SaltSea SaltBrown SugarGranulated SugarThyme, Lemon Thyme, Apples, Orange Juice, Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, Mangoes, Raisins, Golden Raisins, Vegetables, Beets, Bell Peppers, CarrotsCucumbersGarlic, Chili Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers, Habanera Peppers, MushroomsBlack OlivesPeasPotatoesTomatoesMeatsBeefGround BeefHamburgersSandwiches, Pork, Bacon, Liver, PoultryStocks, Beef StockChicken Stock, Veal Stock, Beer, Brandy, Wine, Dry Red Wine, White Wine, Port, ButterUnsalted ButterCheddar CheeseComte CheeseEmmentaler CheeseFromage Blanc Cheese, Goat Cheese, Gruyere CheeseParmesan CheeseSwiss CheeseMilkCreamHeavy CreamCrème FraicheEggsSour CreamBitter GreensMustardDijon MustardSaucesGraviesSoupsOilCanola OilPeanut OilSesame OilVegetable OilGrape Seed OilOlive OilVinegarBalsamic VinegarChampagne VinegarRed Wine VinegarSherry VinegarWhite Wine VinegarApple Cider VinegarRice Wine Vinegar

Substitutes

French Red Shallot

Nutritional Value USDA
SHALLOTS,RAW
Amount Per 100g
Calories 72
%Daily Value*
 
0%
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
0%
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 12mg
7%
Potassium 334mg
5%
Total Carbohydrate 16g
12%
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 7g
Protein 2g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Gluten Free

Yes

Low Fat

Yes

Low Calorie

Yes