Elephant garlic, shallots serve as seasoning alter - The Packer

Elephant garlic, shallots serve as seasoning alter

10/20/2003 12:00:00 AM
Jillian Dauer

CARE: Keep shallots dry, and do not store in a cooler.
NUTRITIONAL VALUE: A 3.5-ounce serving of shallots contains 72 calories.

Shallots originally are from Ascalon, a town in South Palestine. They were brought to the U.S. by Hernando De Soto while he was exploring Louisiana. Known as queen of the sauce onions, shallots have a milder and more aromatic flavor than onions. In fact, shallots taste and look like garlic.

Cooseman’s Pollack says that although shallots are not as popular as garlic, they are becoming more common as they are featured on cooking shows.

Packages of shallots hang on a 12-foot standing rack at Panhandle Co-Op with the specialty items so customers see them as they walk by, Nagasawa says. They are merchandised with Chinese items like tofu and egg roll skins because Chinese use shallots in their stir-fries.

Shallots sit in a 1-foot-square wicker basket in the back of the produce department above the jars of crushed garlic at Archie’s IGA Plus, Dixon says. Freshly painted 4- by 3-foot signs made from butcher paper hang above the shallot display to attract customers’ attention.

Carter’s Food Centers merchandises shallots in 10-inch wicker baskets near the garlic, Stacy says. The store sells bulk shallots by the pound, but they’re usually in pint baskets with pearl and red onions. The store uses small signs on picks in the baskets to promote shallots, and the baskets come with a label that includes the price. Shallots are not an item that is high in demand, so Carter’s never has put them on sale. Customers can purchase shallots for $2.99 a pound.

Archie’s IGA Plus advertises shallots a couple of times a year around Thanksgiving and Christmas when people are doing more baking, Dixon says. Shallots cost $1.99 a pound on sale and $3.99 a pound regularly. Panhandle Co-Op never puts shallots on sale, but customers always can purchase an 8-ounce bag for $1.69. Nagasawa says there isn’t a big demand for shallots. The store stocks them in case anyone wants them.

Shallots should be kept dry at room temperature and watched for sprouting, Stacy says.

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