Choosing the right type of shallot depends on planting time, shelf life and the shape and colour of the bulb. There are two main categories of shallots: grey shallots and pink shallots.
Pink shallots (Jersey type)
Pink shallots are often marketed as ‘traditional shallots’. Easy to store, two types of pink shallots are distinguished:
LONG : long slender bulb with a golden copper skin and a coloured flesh, an intense and subtle flavour, and a distinctive fragrance. Early planting: can be planted as early as autumn in certain regions.
SHORT : the most widely cultivated pink shallot in France. This type of shallot has a slightly round-shaped bulb and thin copper-pink/red skin. It has a mild flavour and a pleasant fragrance. Late planting: plant from January to mid-April. Very high yield potential.
Mainly grown in the south of France, grey shallots have a long curved bulb, with a tough thick grey skin and a pink purplish flesh. Grey shallots have a very pronounced taste and an average shelf life (6 to 7 months).
Grey shallots have been cross bred with pink shallots to create a variety with a longer shelf life. This type of shallot should be planted in the Spring.