Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Onions make me cry

So I wanted to make these beautiful caramelised shallots that I had been oggling for months over at Smitten Kitchen. I thought this would be an easy task. I was telling a co-worker about this amazing recipe for roasted shallots and how excited I was to try it, and she asked me why on earth I'd want to roast shallots. She was thinking of...


... which is what I call a spring onion, and what other people call green onions or scallions. So I explained that I actually meant these shallots:


And it turns out what I call shallots are also called eschallots or French shallots... and there are also Dutch shallot varieties as well. But my co-worker thought that French shallots/eshallots were just baby onions, which are what I call pickling onions and are different again:

You can see why there was confusion...

So I had placed an order for shallots with my green grocer, before I'd had the conversation with my cooworker and I received:


Which is what I call a salad onion! Had I had the conversation with my cooworker beforehand, I would have asked for French shallots or eschallots. These onions are extraordinarily potent, and I decided since I had them and had nothing else to do with them, I would roast them up anyway.

The recipe says to roast them for ~30 mins, but I left mine covered at 180C for about 3 hours. They were absolute, melt in your mouth, beautiful roast onion heaven. Honestly though, I think it's cheating. If you roast anything in butter and red wine vinegar and honey (which I used instead of sugar) for 3 hours it's going to taste amazing. This Sunday we are having an early family Christmas with Gib's family, so I think I will have to recreate them. With eschallots. Or whatever you want to call them.

5 comments:

Taccolina said...

My goodness, yes! We've had that terminology conversation around here many times.... I ask Mr Tacc to do the shopping, and I'm very specific now.... and draw pictures, too, if I need to. He's not offended: he shows the pictures to the greengrocer and they have a laugh at my drawing attempts...

katiecrackernuts said...

I know, I know. I have to peer at the labels the grocer sticks on them, and you know what, they're always different.

Fibo said...

haha I've had this conversation so many times, especially when I was working at Leo's in Kew, there was always a lot of confusion! I call them all the same things that you call them, but when reading cookbooks I get caught out all over again!

Melanie said...

I get caught out a lot too. U.S husband names things different to my UK parents who name things different to AU me and then you have the green grocer who goes and mixes all the names up all over again.

oh no, my verification thing isnt showing..phew it let me have another go:)

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