Here are some French red shallots (on the left ) and a few Dutch shallots (on the right) that I have left from summer. I grew both last year and harvested them in July. I replanted the largest bulbs of each variety this November and had these teenie French red shallots leftover. So instead of tossing them I decided to skin them,chop and freeze them for later use. The French say their shallots are the best in flavor. I read the French Gray shallots are the absolute best flavor of all shallots but I couldn’t get any this past fall-all the seed companies were sold out. I do know they did not make me cry while the Dutch ones do, almost like onions but not as strong.
Ugh! What a lot of work! I don’t know if planting the largest ones will produce larger ones than these. We will see. I know with garlic, you plant the largest cloves to get still larger cloves each year but am not sure with shallots. Here they are all skinned and chopped.
All that work for this-a mere 1/3 cup of chopped shallots. Let’s hope they will be bigger this year or I’ll stick with the Dutch shallots which are much bigger and easier to skin for my main shallots although I will try the gray shallots if I can get some. I do love growing shallots-they are so easy when planted in the fall and are delicious!
Long French red shallot-courtesy of Au Potager
Bonjour! I just read a post on Au Potager’s page on ‘Shallot Wars’ and what the difference is between French shallots and Dutch shallots. Great post and very informative about the three varieties of French shallots. The French think their varieties (which are grown from bulbs) are much better than the Dutch variety (which can be grown from seed). At the end she writes that she didn’t think you could get the french varieties in the US (she lives in France) and if anyone in the US finds a source for them to let her know.
So I researched it online and found a source! The French varieties can be found at John Scheeper’s Kitchen Garden Seeds here. I love shallots and their flavor-more delicate than onions and no tears! Great in vinegarettes, or sauteed and put in sauces.
French Grey shallot-courtesy of Au Potager
I’ve grown a red shallot variety before (not sure if it was the french type) but I’m going to try the ‘French Red shallot’ this spring and grow the French Gray Shallot’ (which is suppose to be the best) next fall—that’s when your suppose to plant the grey variety. Shallots originated in Palestine, need full sun and good soil drainage. They do well here in Santa Fe. John Scheeper’s Kitchen Garden seed catalog page above gives some great planting instructions for them so go there to get them. Au revoir!!