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Old 02-01-2010, 09:30 PM   #1
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Why buy shallots?

I just made a pasta recipe that called for shallots. I never used them before, didn't know anything about them. They tasted just like an onion to me, I diced them up, why should I buy shallots that are about 5 times as expensive as onions? Am I missing something?


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Old 02-01-2010, 10:24 PM   #2
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Personally, I agree with you. But, Im sure others will come along and disagree with was

If there is a difference ( which im sure there is) it is subtle enough not to make any major difference in whatever recipe you are making. At least thats what Ive experienced.

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Old 02-01-2010, 10:29 PM   #3
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Can't disagree either.
Lucky me, I can get a 1 pound bag for $1.79 at my local Saigon Market, so I use them a lot, just because I like them. Sure, that's still expensive relatively speaking, but it's an indulgence.
They are the only onion family product that make my eyes water when chopping them!

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Old 02-02-2010, 12:48 AM   #4
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I don't get the difference either haha. xD
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:37 AM   #5
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Shallots have a milder, sweeter flavor than onions and have a little more tender texture due to their smaller size. Also, because they are smaller, it is easier to mince them thus adding a more subtle flavor, where as with onions you get more of a small dice due to the thickness of the rings of onion walls. So, shallots are used for sauces & preparations which require finesse. They are especially good for Beurre Blancs, mayo-based sauces, demi glace sauces, etc.

And onions are better where a more robust flavor is wanted, such as gravys, soups, roasts, etc. Shallots are not "better" than onions. It is more about the application and the end result you are trying to reach. If you want a "hint" of onion then use shallots. If you want a "big", robust flavor then add onions.
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:13 PM   #6
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You really have to do a side by side taste test with a small recipe for a sauce or whatever to truly decide if the taste difference is worth the cost to you. Make the same recipe, once with onions and again with shallots and taste them side by side to decide.
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:28 PM   #7
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Why buy shallots? Because they put you in jail if you steal them!
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:59 PM   #8
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a shallot bandit, lol. i don't see any advantage in buying them. a small onion will do the trick.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:44 PM   #9
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Shallots have a unique taste - different than onions - almost with a slight wine flavor (at least to my tastebuds). Some people liken them to a cross between garlic and onions.
I don't like them chopped, however, but prefer them thinly sliced, and either lightly browned or browned until crisp in extra virgin olive oil.
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:47 AM   #10
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I do have a few recipes that call for shallots that just would not be the same with onions. Mostly, though, I would think you can sub one for the other. Since I can buy shallots loose at the farmstand for around $1.59 a pound I consider them an affordable treat.

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