Considered by many as the aristocrat of the onion family. By no means should it be confused with green onions or scallions! Shallots originally came from Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) and were introduced to Europe by the Crusaders who brought them back from the East, proclaiming it a treasure comparable to any jewel.
Shallots grow in clusters of small bulbs covered with a papery skin. Yes, similar to garlic but subtler, and much more interesting than onions. Shallots are one of the most frequently used ingredient in many of the finest French sauces and basic preparations, not only because of its aroma but because it emulsifies more than the onion and is supposed to be easier to digest.
Shallots are available fresh in summer, and dry (just as good) the rest of the year.