Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Taste testing the shallots

Yesterday afternoon while I had a bit of time I decided to taste test my dividing onions to see what I should continue growing as I have just dug them up. I didn't include potato onions for two reasons: I have only started growing them and don't have any spare to eat, and I only have 'Green Mountain' variety which is not very stable so one will not necessarily taste like the next. I doubt that this variety will ever be stable as anyone who grows it from seed will select what they want to continue will and that may not be what another person will select.

From the left - Pink shallot, Golden shallot, Walking onion, Walking onion bulbils.
The walking onions don't have much in the way of bulbs at this time of year when they are dying down but I am guessing they will taste the same when at full size.

I am not much of an onion lover so I have not had much of a chance to do a proper comparison in the past.
All the onions were tasted raw and then fried in olive oil till a bit golden and caramalised.

Pink shallot: Raw - These were much stronger in flavour than I thought they would be. I put them at a 6-7 on a 1 to 10 scale.
Cooked - the flavour became much milder and sweeter, even down to a 2-3 on the scale. Very pleasant to my taste.

Golden shallot: Raw - Just as bitey as the pink shallot and almost spicy. The taste lingered a bit longer in the mouth. Too strong for my liking.  
Cooked -  As with the pink shallot they became very mild, almost without taste. I am not impressed as they were quite bland.

Walking onion: Raw -  Strongly oniony but smooth and sweetish. The taste holds on a long time. Strength of 5.
Cooked - Sweet and nutty, so delicious I had to run out to the garden and pick another handful.

Walking onion bulbils: Raw - Oniony and slightly bitter. Not particularly pleasant for my liking.
Cooked -  Sweeter but not impressive.

The main surprises for me were the strength of the shallots as I have always read that they are sweeter and milder than 'normal' onions. And the biggest surprise was the deliciousness of the walking onions, I could have eaten my whole bed full if I had the energy. They were so great. This is opposite to what I have read.

To sum up, I will not be growing golden shallots any more, just more beds of pink shallots which are supurb baked in the oven as I found out late last year. I will also be growing more walking onions and selling them at the markets for eating. Up till now I have just been selling them as growing material.

Next year at this time I should have a few selections of potato onions to evaluate.

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