The history of shallots

Shallots are native to the Middle-East: their botanical name Allium ascalonicum (now officially Allium cepa gr. agregatum) refers to the Port of Ascalon, in Palestine, which is now known as the Ashkelon seaside resort in Israel.

Shallots were already a food staple in ancient Egypt, and Persians considered them to be a sacred plant!

Shallots were introduced to Europe by Crusaders returning from Palestine. From the 12th century onwards, shallots were cultivated in Brittany and in the Anjou, the two traditional shallot-producing French regions. To this day, shallots go on being traditionally cultivated in those two regions, however they are now also cultivated in the North of France and in the Drôme.

Breeders have created new varieties with a better shape, and improved yield and storage qualities. Nowadays, shallot farmers can choose from a selection of 10 varieties of certified shallot plants, many of which can also be purchased by amateur gardeners.

Medicinal and dietetic properties of shallots >>     ^ Top

Home Home