Wrapped in a multiple paper-thin layers of skin ranging in colors from copper to gold or pink, tapered-shaped shallots are divided into clusters of individually wrapped segments similar to garlic except shallots generally have two to three bulbs per segment. Their violet bulbs with grey-white flesh are aromatic and savory when raw. As they cook, their flavor becomes more delicate and sweet.
Shallots are available year-round.
Shallots, botanically named Allium cepa var. aggregatum, have more than 500 different types. In addition to shallots, onions, garlic and leeks also belong to the Allium genus. The shallot is a cool season perennial crop planted as an annual.