Knowing my onions

I am publishing this short post because I will soon be writing a more substantial post about a dish for which one of the elements is caramelised shallots. However, what Maggie and I refer to as a ‘shallot’ is known by other names in some parts of the world. Why, just 300km from our home, across the state border in New South Wales, it would be called ‘eschallot’. Not that Sydneysiders don’t cook with shallots – that’s their name for our ‘spring onions’!

Confused? Especially you North Americans?

onion-types

In this photo, the green item is the top section of our ‘spring onion’. I think it is called ‘green onion’ Stateside, yes? But, a Google search tells me, ‘shallot’ in New Orleans and sometimes ‘scallion’ in other places.

The two smaller specimens in the centre of the pic? Those are what we call ‘shallots’ or, in some stores, ‘French shallots’ (that’s to help immigrants from Sydney).

At back left is what we call a ‘brown onion’. I think North Americans give it the moniker ‘yellow onion’, as I have discovered in Julia Child’s recipes. And it is also known in some parts as a ‘Spanish onion’

Finally, at back right, is what we call a ‘purple onion’ or, as is the case elsewhere, ‘red onion’.

Our greengrocer also stocks ‘white onions’, which are popular for roasting whole. We have used them in past years, in a veal braise to take advantage of their mild flavour, but not lately.

Capisce? Savvy?

Rick Grounds

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About rmgtravelsandfood

Maggie and I are both in our early 60s and live in Melbourne, Australia. This blog is devoted to our shared passions for travel and fine dining at home. As cooks, we are skilful and adventurous within a framework of mainly traditional ingredients and techniques, and we aim to prepare nutritious food that looks good and tastes delicious. Our evolving repertoire is influenced by both our travels and Melbourne's vibrant food culture. While we are young enough, our priority travel destinations are overseas, although we do spend a few weekends each year exploring south-eastern Australia. As travellers, we are most comfortable with a combination of organised and independent touring. Our first overseas journey together was to Italy in the northern autumn of 2008. We later travelled in France (2009), Spain (2011), Singapore and Cambodia (2012/13). All trips from 2014 onwards are documented in this blog.
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