The little difference between shallots and onions

The little difference between shallots and onions

What are shallots

This special onion is becoming more and more important in the kitchen. It is very close to the kitchen onion, but is much smaller. Their skin varies between the shades of green-violet, red, red-brown, pink, purple, yellow, gray and white. Shallots also have a mild taste when raw, but should not be seared as they quickly become bitter.

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The difference between onions and shallots

Onions and shallots are an indispensable part of the kitchen. They give most dishes, regardless of whether they are raw, cooked or fried, a great aroma.

While the conventional onion unfolds its unique aroma when it is roasted and steamed, caution is advised here with the shallot, as it becomes bitter and loses its aroma at too high temperatures.

The shallot scores with its fine, slightly sweet aroma, which is particularly effective in cold dishes.

When using onions and shallots, personal taste is always important. If you like it strong, you prefer the hotter onion, while the shallot provides a subtle taste.

The differences at a glance

A short list provides a better overview of the differences between onions and shallots:

  • Shallots are smaller than onions
  • Shallots are milder than onions
  • Onions can be sautéed more sharply
  • Onions have more irritants than shallots

Peel the tears on the onion

Everyone knows it: As soon as the onion is cut, its sulphurous ingredients ensure a steady flow of tears.

However, it is different with the shallot. It doesn't contain nearly as many irritants as the onion, so it can be cut without tears. Since the shallot is characterized by a mild aroma, it is the first choice for those who do not like to shed tears.

The shallot takes time

Shallots are often considerably smaller than normal onions and also have a paper-thin skin.

You should therefore plan more time when processing this onion. For example, if two large kitchen onions are required for a goulash, at least six to eight shallots must be peeled instead, the skin of which is often difficult to pinch off.

So if you want it to be quick, you better grab a large onion.