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Shallots are a member of the onion family and have a shape like onions but grow segmented in cloves similar to garlic (but are not as harsh as garlic). They have a thin coppery skin with purple white flesh has a subtle onion flavor.
Two main types of shallots are found in the grocery store. The Jersey shallot is larger and has a sharper onion flavor than the smaller "true" shallot which has a softer flavor and a slightly grayer skin. As with onions, choose shallots that are firm and round with no dried areas or wrinkling of the skin. If there is a sprout from the tip of the shallot, don't buy it, it's not very fresh.
Shallots keep longer in the refrigerator but will flavor other items stored with them so put them in a plastic bag. They will keep in a cool place for a few weeks and still be fresh.
1 Tbsp. chopped shallot = 7 calories, 0 fat, 0g sat fat, 0g mono fat, 0g protein, 2g carbohydrates, 1mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol