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Old 02-18-2003, 01:09 AM   #1
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Shallots or Onions?

In recipes, and on the various cooking shows, chefs, etc., are forever touting shallots. So I bought a few the other day, expecting great things.

Ha! I tasted a small piece, raw - to me it tasted exactly like a rather pungent, "hot" onion.

This eveing, my wife (an excellent cook) prepared creamed pearl onions. Thinking she had not enough of the pearl onions, she added some chopped shallots. Neither of us could detect any appreciable differnece in flavor.

So what's the big deal about shallots? Is my taster on the fritz, or are they simply over-hyped, like a lot of other stuff these days?

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Old 02-19-2003, 11:48 PM   #2
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No opinions?

Looks like nobody cares much one way or the other about shallots and onions, eh?

Shucks. I was hoping to get a discussion going on onions, etc. You know, which is best - Vidalias or reds or sweet spanish or............Shallots?????
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Old 02-20-2003, 08:03 AM   #3
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I've used shallots before and wasn't too impressed. A bit of a pain to peel and not much difference in flavour. I tend to use spanish onion for pretty much everything but salads where I prefer red ones.
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Old 02-20-2003, 01:08 PM   #4
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Well, I like shallots roasted and they have this incredible sweet flavor (onions do too though) BUT I can roast them whole and in much less time.

If a recipe calls for a small amount of onion I just use a shallot - that way if I don't cook for several days using onion I don't waste the rest.

mmmmmmmmmmm................... I do like Vidalias - but I still don't eat one like an apple - :P IMHO - a sweet onion is a sweet onion is a sweet onion.
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Old 03-21-2003, 05:14 PM   #5
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I love shallots. I use them in anything that doesn't require long cooking and also in salad dressings. Onions I save for anything that is going to simmer for a long time. They taste very different to me; more delicate in flavour. That's it; that's my opinion.
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Old 03-21-2003, 10:58 PM   #6
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Well, Coco, we have a conundrum here: either you have a vivid imagination, enabling you to believe shallots taste very different from just any old rather hot onion, or I have a palate that is shot to pieces and can no longer properly evaluate flavors.

But, hey, as long as you think they're good, and don't mind the hassle of peeling those odd-shaped things, why, have at it. ;)
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Old 03-22-2003, 12:03 AM   #7
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You stick with onions and I'll stick with shallots. My favorite way to have them is sauted with butter and chanterelles, then tossed with linguini and sage. Many a time I have been tempted(and even been caught), to skip the linguini and just eat the chanterelles.
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Old 07-15-2004, 01:49 PM   #8
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Shallots (to me at least) taste like a cross between an onion and garlic. The taste difference is very mild in my opinion, but it is there. I do not notice it as much what the shallot is raw, but when sautéed in oil I can notice it. I think that when mixed with regular onion though the flavor difference would be lost.
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Old 07-16-2004, 12:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf
Well, I like shallots roasted and they have this incredible sweet flavor (onions do too though) BUT I can roast them whole and in much less time.

If a recipe calls for a small amount of onion I just use a shallot - that way if I don't cook for several days using onion I don't waste the rest.

mmmmmmmmmmm................... I do like Vidalias - but I still don't eat one like an apple - :P IMHO - a sweet onion is a sweet onion is a sweet onion.
Ohh, one of the best things I have every tasted was this roasted eshallot and demi-glaze sauce. Ohhhhhhh I have shivers thinking of it. You could throw out the meat and just order more sauce! Although the demi was a pain to make, took like 3 days to make 1 qt from 10 gals of stock.
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Old 07-19-2004, 08:42 PM   #10
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OK....what the heck are chanterelles???? I've never cooked shallots before because I never knew what exactly they were,,,now I do....hmmm...I like my onions but I must try shallots for myself...ive at ethem but just not cooked them....
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Old 07-20-2004, 08:44 AM   #11
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chantrelle's are a type of mushroom

shallots are preferred more to use in sauces, because they fall between the astringency of onions and garlic, therefore they're more well balanced.
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Old 07-20-2004, 11:26 AM   #12
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Shallots are just sweeter tancowgirl. But they still make you cry like a baby when you cut up a lot of them!!! LOL

A chanterelle is a type of mushroom. (oops, sorry, I didn't even see ironchef's post) :oops:
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Old 07-20-2004, 11:36 AM   #13
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For Jermosh:

I'm sure there's no substitute for home made demi glace, but we have a couple of alternatives at our store that are very popular:

www.thewhitewhale.com/redibase.htm
www.thewhitewhale.com/gourmet.htm

Not trying to hawk our merchandise, :D but not everyone knows about these bases and they really take your cooking to the next level (kicked up, as Emeril might say?).

I really like shallots and agree that they are milder and have a more sophisticated taste in cooking. They are also very easy to grow. Just buy one at the store and plant the little bulbs. Coot, you may have just gotten a shallot that was over the hill... :roll:
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Old 08-25-2004, 05:42 PM   #14
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:DHi...


I LOVE shallots, a staple in my kitchen. I think they are milder too. I put them in pan sauces for veggies and I also like them in tuna salad.
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Old 09-17-2004, 05:05 PM   #15
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If you want to test the difference between onions and shallots, try this:
Make up a batch of coleslaw. Divide it in half and put onion in one half and shallot in the other half, equal portions. Allow the slaw to meld overnight in the refridgerator. Now taste both batches. The difference is wonderful. The shallots give it a mild sweet taste. I'm willing to bet that most people who don't like slaw would like it if it was made with shallots.
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Old 09-18-2004, 06:28 PM   #16
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:D I use shallots in certain salad dressings and other recipes its alot milder.If you dont have shallots you can substitute white onions just use a 1/4 the amount that is called for shallots.
Be sure you get really firm shallots when you buy them if they are soft they are way too old.
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Old 09-19-2004, 07:32 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joesfolks
If you want to test the difference between onions and shallots, try this:
Make up a batch of coleslaw. Divide it in half and put onion in one half and shallot in the other half, equal portions. Allow the slaw to meld overnight in the refridgerator. Now taste both batches. The difference is wonderful. The shallots give it a mild sweet taste. I'm willing to bet that most people who don't like slaw would like it if it was made with shallots.
Don't believe I've ever had coleslaw with either onions or shallots.
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Old 09-19-2004, 01:41 PM   #18
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kfc makes their coleslaw with onions. if you look closely, you can see them but they're chopped ultra-fine.

the best way to tell would be to taste test the difference in uncooked dishes like the coleslaw. make three of the same dishes, one with generic yellow/white onions, one with shallots, and one with sweet vidalia or maui onions. then you can tell which you like better.
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